Smart mirrors with allure

Local company Fred Technologies has come up with a device that aims to help women look their best

Having nearly sold out Mirror, an Android-powered and the world's first luxury smart mirror, local company Fred Technologies has followed that up with its second smart mirror that aims to help women look their best.

Launched this month, this tabletop smart mirror, called Allure, has a unique feature: the lighting around its rim is said to have a colour rendering index of 96, close to natural sunlight. This allows women to get the colours of their make-up right.

"We realised that women, when they apply make-up, always go near the windows because they want natural sunlight," said Fred's 28-year-old founder Jonathan Yuan.

"So now, even when you close the curtains, you can still get a similar effect to natural sunlight with the Allure," he added.

Unlike the 80cm x 50cm, 9kg, wall-mounted Mirror, the Allure measures 31.5cm x 23.2cm and weighs 1.9kg. It is priced at $499, compared with $2,700 for the Mirror, which has a limited production run of 500 pieces worldwide.

Mirror, which is encased in a champagne gold frame, connects to the Internet, allowing users to get their social media updates.

Its built-in speakers play music and users can control it through voice commands. There are only a few pieces of Mirror, which was launched last April, that are still unsold, said Mr Yuan. Proof Living in Ion Orchard is the only physical store in Singapore selling it.

Founder of Fred Technologies Jonathan Yuan (above, with the Mirror), started the company in 2015.
Founder of Fred Technologies Jonathan Yuan (above, with the Mirror), started the company in 2015. ST PHOTO: TREVOR TAN

Fred, which stands for Future Ready, Everything Digital, was founded in 2015 by Mr Yuan with the five other partners.

Prior to that, Mr Yuan started a trading company that specialises in distributing ceramics and tiles in South-east Asia after completing national service.

The Nanyang Polytechnic accountancy and finance diploma graduate has a childhood friend whose father distributes ceramics and tiles in China and was looking to expand in South-east Asia. Mr Yuan grabbed that opportunity.

It was through his ceramics and tiles business that the idea of the Mirror came about.

He discovered that some of his high net-worth clients - luxury home owners - hate the black spots that appear on the bathroom mirrors due to the oxidation of the reflective mercury layer.

"Some of them are changing mirrors every six months as a result," he said.

Mr Yuan came up with the idea of making a luxury smart mirror that no one had seen before.

"We wanted to find a niche," he said.

He shared his vision with a group of friends from different backgrounds, such as product design, software development and manufacturing.

"We believe in this vision and this product. That's why we put our money in it," said Mr Yuan, who manages the team and operations in Fred.

Apart from catering to the consumer market, Fred also sells to commercial customers.

It customises smart mirrors for residential properties as well as hotels. Fred has customers in more than 30 markets - from the United States to the Middle East.

"We established Fred as a luxury brand, but we are also proud to say we are a Singapore brand," he says.

He hopes to bring the Fred brand to as many countries as possible in the next three years.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 24, 2018, with the headline Smart mirrors with allure. Subscribe