Your Toothbrush Can Now Talk To You
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Because you can’t brush cavities away with a dumb toothbrush, now can you?
By Vignesh Ramachandran
Your toothbrush is going to start talking to you. Well, sort of.
Bluetooth technology, an accelerometer, a gyrometer and a magnetometer are usually technologies you’d expect in another talking device: a smartphone. But now you can have it all for your teeth and gums. The new Kolibree connected electric toothbrush combines the power of a sonic motor with the brain of a smart gadget.
Before you get your internet of things on, chew on this: Much like a FitBit or other smart health gadgets, the Kolibree toothbrush’s sensors collect information about your brushing habits – like how often you brush, how long you brush and what areas of your teeth need more attention. Since the brush is equipped with Bluetooth, it can then send that information to a free app for iOS or Android.
Think of it as a personal trainer — for your teeth.
Techie developers can literally hack this toothbrush and develop third-party apps for it.
The app generates reports based on your brushing data — and you can share those statistics with your dentist (though you don’t have to). If you prefer, you can gamify the experience — because who doesn’t want to make brushing their teeth just a little more fun? The app can sync data from multiple Kolibree toothbrushes in a family — just think of the sibling or spouse competitions.
Additionally, Kolibree is designing game apps that bring a whole new meaning to “here comes the airplane” — for example, a racing game where the car would move based on the brush’s position in your mouth. Kids who hate brushing might find this compelling enough to have a change of heart.
Like any power toothbrush, the Kolibree requires battery charging and regular head replacement. The brush comes bundled with an induction charger.
On top of all the tech-packed features, the Kolibree will roll out with “open APIs” — which means techie developers can literally hack this toothbrush and develop third-party apps for it. Bet you never thought hacking toothbrushes would be a thing. Await the collaborationist bathrooms.
The Kolibree is not at your local store yet. The brush is in its second prototype and the app is still an early design. Its creators (they’re not dentists, FYI) want to take Kolibree to mass production later this year and are raising funds through a Kickstarter campaign.
Clearly, people think their current toothbrushes are too dumb: The crowdfunding campaign has already surpassed its $70,000 goal and had raised more than $93,000, with 20 days still left to go as of Sunday. About 1,000 backers can still get the brush for $129 with an October delivery date. Post-Kickstarter, it’s expected to retail between $149 and $199.
Here’s my problem with it (aside from the pricey tag): Is everything becoming “smart” to the point that it can get a bit overwhelming? Add this to the pile of our new morning routines: Wake up to smartphone alarm apps, use an app to track morning exercise, eat our cereal while reading a news app, commute while responding to mobile emails or listening to a music app.
But it’s all in the name of a good cause: the battle against halitosis — which is most definitely not good shit.