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GQ, December 1994

Reflect on This, By Don Steinberg

It's hard to find a personal-grooming product that hasn't undergone generations of technological change - unless you gaze at the low-tech centerpiece of it all, the mirror. Now, it too gets a face-lift. John Walter, a New York City computer consultant and inventor, has devised a mirror that "doesn't provide a reverse image of you," he says. " It provides an actual image."

Say what?

His True Mirror consists of two custom-cut mirrors joined at a ninety-degree angle. Stare into the corner they create, and you see what others see when they look at you. The scar on your left cheek, for example, is actually on the left. It's a different you. Unsettling, even.

Sure, you could obtain the same effect by holding any two mirrors together (you'd avoid True Mirror's prices: $195 for a twelve-inch-high model, $245 for the eighteen-incher). But you'd get an annoying line down the middle, which Walter avoids with precise cutting and gluing by hand.

Talk to him and he'll wax about the metaphysics of seeing the "real you" for the first time. We'll skip that rap. But it is cool seeing what the part in you hair really looks like.

Photo: Stephen Webster