Oxford start-up reflecting on the future

Published 10:24 am Monday, July 3, 2017

A new business in Oxford believes the future is now.

Myra Mirrors, a start-up tech company founded by two Ole Miss graduates, is looking to manufacture a smart mirror (think an iPad, but built into the reflective surface).

The mirror would be able to tell you the weather, news or play your favorite music as you’re getting ready for work in the morning.

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Pontus Andersson, 22, the CEO and co-founder of the company, began the company with his fellow founder Sam Bertolet who initially came up with the concept for the advanced mirror.

“I went over to (Bertolet’s) house after work and he ended up showing me this smart mirror he had been working on,” Andersson remembered. “He told me it had been a DIY thing for the past two years, but nobody had really done anything with it.”

At 22 years old, Andersson admits being an entrepreneur isn’t the easiest job.

“You’re expected to know so much more than what you do, but at the same time, I think being young also has interesting perks,” he said. “We’re so maneuverable and so flexible. I can live on a ramen noodle diet for the next two years, but my dad can’t. It has its drawbacks because you haven’t been in an industry or working for a Fortune 500 company, so you don’t get that kind of insight. But that’s part of the fun, too: finding problems and learning as much about them as possible.”

Currently, the Myra Mirrors team consists of Andersson, Bertolet and four other contracted employees who help to develop the software. While there are no firm plans for release as of this moment, Andersson says that the company is in discussions with a manufacturer and two product design firms.

“What we’re addressing is this need in the smart mirror space that we’ve seen from our own projects that people understand how to build them and put them together, but the problem that eventually everyone runs into is actually getting the software to run them,” Andersson said. “We’re hoping to solve that with our operating system.”

Andersson acknowledges that while there may be other companies trying to enter the smart mirror market, none of the “major players” have come onto the field yet.

Myra is “the Siri of the augmented reality world,” the co-founder added. Myra is an acronym for My Reflective Assistant.

And Myra Mirrors doesn’t just have their eyes set on looking glasses. They’d like to transfer their technology onto other surfaces, as well.

“In the end, we really want to be a company that focuses on creating the best User Interface and User Experience for people that use our stuff,” Andersson said. “By making our own operating system for augmented reality, we can apply that to any surface and not just mirrors.”

However, the company’s goal as of this moment is to start smaller and get a mirror that they can manufacture and sell out of Oxford.

“We’ve had a lot of traction that we’re really excited about happening over the past couple of weeks and just trying to capitalize on that,” Andersson said. “Really the biggest thing now is making sure we get our prototype done and keep designing our software. We’re looking for people to start signing up for the alpha and beta versions of our operating system. We’re going to let people download it and play around with it themselves.”

Those interested in signing up for those versions or other updates can find the company at myramirrors.com.