'Smart toothbrush' detects how much tartar is being removed
Brush smarter. That's the message from the makers of what is billed as the world's first internet-connected toothbrush.
Unveiled on Sunday at a preview event for the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the device from French-based startup Kolibree aims "to reinvent oral care", according to co-founder Loic Cessot.
"The technology in the industry has not evolved for years," Cessot said.
"The idea is not to brush stronger, but smarter."
The Kolibree toothbrush includes a sensor that detects how much tartar is being removed in a brushing. It also records brushing activity so users can maintain a consistent cleaning each time. The device conveys the information wirelessly to a smartphone app - a particularly useful aid for parents who want to monitor the teeth cleaning efforts of their small children, according to Cessot.
"When you use a normal toothbrush you never really know what you've cleaned. It might be 30 per cent. The only person who really knows is the dentist."
But the app can tell users if they have missed hard-to-clean areas or are not getting a thorough brushing.
The app, which is open for developers to add on other programmes, aims to increase motivation and make the experience more fun, said Cessot.
The self-funded startup created by Cessot and former Microsoft and Google executive Thomas Serval plans to release the toothbrush worldwide in the third quarter, getting a boost from a crowdsourcing effort.
Orders will be available initially through Kickstarter from US$99 to US$200 and will include a free mobile app.