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(Pocket-lint) - The early stages of a child's development are very important, we all know that. But Philips are hoping to help you trigger your baby's first sounds and words with the Magic Mirror, strangely enough a mirror that has the ability to talk back.

"Mirror Mirror on the wall..." and all that. The flower shaped device features an 10cm in diameter unbreakable mirror in the centre, two noise buttons that make boing, bounce and whizz noises and the ability to automatically record sounds it hears.

The idea behind the unit is that the baby stares into the mirror, sees itself and then says something. In doing so, and here is the clever bit, the in-built voice recorder jumps into action and automatically records 2 seconds of sound. Once recorded it then plays back that sound twice so the baby can hear what they've said.

In practice on our 3-month old test subject Emily, she loved it and 10 minutes of koo-ing and arh-ing went by with little interruption even though she is at the younger end of who Philips recommend uses the Magic Mirror.

For the most part it works, especially for the younger age groups, however we did find that on a number of occasions there is a delay between making the noise and the moment the recorder kicks in, meaning that the beginnings of some words or sounds are missed off on playback.

With a strap to attach to cot or pram, and durable case this should last you a good while and Philips has even included the batteries you need in the box to get you going from day one.

Philips states in the paperwork that comes in the box that the unit will last 10 hours per 3 batteries, something we've yet to reach, however while there is an auto sleep mode to conserve energy if not used for 5 minutes, there is not an auto switch off mode to turn the unit off completely if you forget.


Emily loves looking at herself in the mirror (perhaps it’s a girl thing), however the addition of the noises and sounds makes this an even more enjoyable experience.

For £20 you really get the feeling this is going to help those developing years, certainly more so that another cuddly teddy bear.

Writing by Stuart Miles. Originally published on 22 July 2006.