Kolibree: The Smart Toothbrush

We’re surrounded these days by smarter and smarter technology. We have smartphones, tablets, cars with onboard computers, PS4s and XBox Ones, etc.

But in the world of oral health, we are bereft of smart technology. That is until now. At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2014), a new electronics brand—Kolibree—has introduced what essentially is a smartbrush.

The way it works is quite simple, yet brilliant. The Kolibree brush is connected to your smartphone via an app. You brush your teeth with the smartbrush, which then sends your brush stroke count to the smartphone.

Upon receiving the stroke count, the app tells you how good of a cleaning job you did. It provides a percentage score out of 100 and also makes suggestions on how to improve your brushing.

Thomas Serval founded the company and created the Kolibree prototype. For years Serval worked in software at Google, but recently decided to get back into his original field—hardware.

Serval was inspired by his children. He had grown tired of constantly having to ask his kids if they’d brushed their teeth. Now when they brush, or don’t, he’ll know based on a message his phone receives.

But how does it know that you’re doing a good job? This is one of the more amazing aspects of the brush. It has an accelerometer, magnetometer, and gyroscope all built in. These enable the brush to create a model of the inside of your mouth.

The model is built in two manners. The first way is that you can calibrate the hardware by showing it around your mouth. The second: the company has a list of measurements that help it understand the size of your mouth, then compares it to your age and gender.

Now you’re wondering the price. Well, that’s the only drawback. At the moment, the price isn’t set. In fact, Kolibree doesn’t even have the funds to move beyond the prototype stage at the moment. A Kickstarter campaign is on the way.

That said, it’ll most likely cost between $100 and $200. This might seem high, but considering that many high-end electronic brushes cost this much—without having the smart tech—this isn’t too bad of a price actually.

As we march further into the future, who knows what wondrous technologies await us. Will we have forks that tell us how much to chew? Oh wait, that already came out last year

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