LAS VEGAS — Some kids don’t like brushing their teeth. So France’s Kolibree came up with a connected smart electric toothbrush that trains them how to do it properly.
It announced the toothbrush last year, and now it has a couple of apps that “gamify” brushing, or use game mechanics to motivate people to do something they wouldn’t ordinarily do. It’s another sign of how the so-called “Internet of Things” — turning everyday objects into connected devices — continues to march into our homes.
Kolibree isn’t the first company to do this. GamesBeat covered Grush: The Gaming Toothbrush for Kids back in April.
Kolibree’s toothbrush can use connectivity and 3D motion sensors to figure out where the brush is in your mouth when you are using it.
“It is like GPS [global positioning system] for your mouth,” said Kolibree chief executive Thomas Serval in an interview with VentureBeat at the 2015 International CES, one of the world’s biggest tech trade shows.
While you’re brushing, you can use the mobile app to run a game, like an endless runner with a pirate theme. If you have the toothbrush in the right position, your character will run and pick up gold coins. If you miss some areas, you won’t get the coins. The feedback works via Bluetooth in real time.
The games gets kids to brush for the right amount of time, and then it produces analytics with a picture of your teeth. If your teeth are gold, you have hit the right spots. If they are red, you need to do a better job brushing, Serval said.
Kolibree has provided an open application programming interface (API) for developers to create more games, like The Pirates Game. Another is Kolibree Coach, which is still fun but it for older brushers.
The $200 device ships later this month in the U.S. and sometime in the first quarter in Europe. A dental insurance company, Dentegra, has teamed up with Kolibree to give the toothbrush to members for a discount.