Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Roll-up Mirror

full length mirror that rolls up like a blind
  (+17, -1)(+17, -1)
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Mirrors can be bulky items, especially big full-length ones that you can admire yourself in. It would be nice if you could press a button and the thing would just roll away.

I suggest to make a mirror in the same way as a roll-up blind, out of blades about an inch high. One side of each blade would be silvered, and they would snap together to make a full-length mirror. At the ends of each blade are (relatively low-power) electro-magnets, exposed to the blades above and below. The upper edge of each blade would be convex, and the lower edge concave. When power is fed through, the blades naturally snaps into a flat, neat mirror.

The hinges are offset slightly to one side, and the magnets to the other, so that when you reverse every other magnet (ie, make them repel) it smoothly rolls itself up.

I'll do some illustrations of the shape, as it's probably quite hard to visualize. Since it needs to be powered anyway, it could easily be controlled by a remote control or some snazzy bluetoothy wireless system.

sadie, Jul 06 2002

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       Croissant for thinking of this- I could really use one o'dese. But it seems like if you make the mirror surface fold up, it won't be as smooth as it oughta be. Have you ever looked at mirrored panels placed next to each other? It messes up the reflection at the point where the two mirrors meet. So if you made it like mini-blinds, I don't know if you'd see yourself that well...
polartomato, Jul 06 2002
  

       Nice mental image that creates. Definite croissant
kaz, Jul 06 2002
  

       // Have you ever looked at mirrored panels placed next to each other? It messes up the reflection at the point where the two mirrors meet. //   

       I spent ages worrying about that, and trying to find solutions with interlocking flanges and pairs of cables. I think the solution I've found is the most elegant - although it's rather hard to describe without a picture. It does require the panels to be quite thick, though. If you can think of a better solution to this, go ahead.   

       One option is not to use blades at all, but more like a silvered canvas surface - but I've no idea how you'd make that rigid.
sadie, Jul 06 2002
  

       mylar roll-blind held under tension by a weighted rod at the bottom? might twist/swing a bit
chud, Jul 06 2002
  

       Mylar is a good idea. It could, perhaps, be rolled up like a poster and come with a simple collapsing frame.   

       As far as the electromagnetic version, perhaps the magnets might be able to tighten as much of the obvious cracks (and thus distortions of the image) as possible, but there would be an awful lot of those cracks. This would have to be tested.
polartomato, Jul 06 2002
  

       How about production model with mylar on both sides to reflect light from sun onto evildoer neighbors and heat away from wonderful selfs own humble abode?
thumbwax, Jul 06 2002
  

       TW: There has to be a story behind that anno...
drew, Jul 06 2002
  

       'Snazzy bluetoothy wireless system.'   

       I like that phrase. Bluetooth definitely works better as an adjective. 'Wired' appliances would then be 'bluetoothless?'
RayfordSteele, Jul 07 2002
  

       ok [thumbwax], how long before you ask for a programmable holographic mirror that directs light in exactly the right direction to cause most inconvenience / embarrassment to your poor unsuspecting neighbors?
sadie, Jul 07 2002
  

       Doors are often underused, if one side is mirrored you could just close it when you need a big mirror. Or have one mounted on the ceiling & have it swing down 9careful!) like a tilting garage door.
pfperry, Jul 07 2002
  

       //have one mounted on the ceiling //   

       Then just lie on floor after you're all dressed, and look up at yourself. Actually I love this idea - I can just see myself and an important guest in my living room and the guest says "Have you got a mirror I could use?" to which I reply distractedly, "Of course...where's the remote?" - cool. croissant!
Matty, Jul 07 2002
  

       Flexible, self-adhesive mirrored sheet is available (from one of those sub-Innovations catalogues where you can buy all the things you didn't realise you need) but it doesn't roll up automatically.
angel, Jul 08 2002
  

       I'm more than happy to manually adjust the blinds. Methinks vertical blinds would be best in my abode rather than horizontal or roman blinds. I've got a roll of mylar which is likely over 100 yards long and @ 15 inches wide. Muahahaha
I had no worries on the 4th blissmiss. Watched bits and pieces of 4 firewoiks shows from a balcony, watched Boston Pops firewoiks on the tube & played with what is apparently still the world's largest rottweiler for a few hours as the salmon and baby carrots aftertaste was subtly washed away by a Chilean Chardonnay. Also mocked the commentators who said a witness heard the gunman at LAX exclaim "Arty took my job!" - R T could be my 1st and middle initials or could be the artist formerly known as Rods Tiger.
thumbwax, Jul 08 2002
  

       Next up .. Foldable "Solar Death Ray" disguised as umbrella ?
kamathln, Nov 22 2008
  
      
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