Kolibree Connected Toothbrush: with Apps for Kids

by francine Hardaway on January 6, 2015

The Internet of Toothbrushes is here, and just in time. In my lifetime, I’ve spent a fortune in dental care because we didn’t have adequate information about prevention when I was a kid, and I got gingivitis in college.  There are many connected devices I wouldn’t care much about, but having also paid for the dental care of several family members lately, I’m acutely aware of how important it is to prevent these problems. And there’s research that says dental problems affect your overall health.

So even though I am spending a single day at CES, and I’m mostly there to see ad tech developments and wearables, I’m going to try to get to seekolibree-smart-toothbrush-banner-app-b-askensio  Kolibree, a connected electric toothbrush that gives real time feedback. This toothbrush, if you can believe it, has 3D sensors and built in accelerometer, gyrometer, and magnetometer.

Kolibree’s proprietary technology knows whether you’ve effectively reached every zone of your mouth and statistically what areas you’ve missed. It’s GPS of the mouth. Once you’ve brushed your teeth, the information and feedback on your efficiency goes directly to your smartphone via low energy Bluetooth and the data is stored in an individual profile. You can store the brushing habits of your entire family on one smartphone. If you are a parent, this is a good thing.  No longer can your child come out of the bathroom saying he brushed his teeth when you know he just faked it; the toothbrush will narc on him. An interactive motivating app,  The Pirates Game, motivates kids to brush for two minutes without getting bored. The game, which was developed using the open Kolibree SDK, rewards kids with coins when they brush correctly and spend enough time at each location of their mouth. After a series of brushings, parents and dentists have access to an interactive map showing the over and under brushed areas, data that can be used to help kids improve.

Of course the toothbrush has an API (doesn’t everything?) and I’m sure there will be more apps in the future.

The Kolibree toothbrush is also much lighter than most electric toothbrushes on the market, so kids can use it, and has  smaller brush heads make it easier to navigate in tougher to reach areas of the mouth. The vibration is based on Sonic technology and is softer than many of the harsher vibrations of other brushes, making it a safer alternative for kids, seniors and those who have had surgery.

The Kolibree connected electric toothbrush will start shipping in the U.S. this month and in Europe later in Q1 2015. It is priced at $199 retail.  The company has teamed up with a dental insurance company, Dentegra, and those who sign up for the Dentegra Smile Club will receive a significant discount on the toothbrush and from Dentegra network dentists.

I might just buy myself one of these when it comes out, and see if I can share the information with my dentist. I’ve had difficulty in the past getting my doctors to share my fitness tracker info with me, but I have a feeling dentists might be more open to it. Especially since most dental insurance does pay for prevention; it just doesn’t pay for what I need.


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