LAS VEGAS -- These days, it seems just about every imaginable thing is "connected." There's connected thermostats, locks, refrigerators, forks, and so many more. And now, add toothbrushes to the list.
Today at CES, Kolibree unveiled what it calls the world's first connected electric toothbrush. Whether anyone actually needs such a device is very much up in the air, but the startup believes that it can help people brush smarter -- and as a result, have healthier teeth.
The concept is simple. Users download Kolibree's mobile app on their smartphone and then connect to the toothbrush via Bluetooth. Then, every time they brush their teeth, the brush will record a set of relevant data, which can later be viewed and analyzed via the mobile app.
Essentially, the brush records how someone cleans their teeth. It keeps track of how long the brushing lasted, and how rigorous it was in terms of reaching each and every tooth, and the gums. There's a bit of gameplay built in, which challenges users to do better next time, and the company has created an API, hoping that third-party developers will come up with additional apps that will inspire users to brush more, and more effectively.
Kolibree is planning on releasing several different models of its toothbrush, ranging from $100 to $200, in the third quarter of 2014, with a Kickstarter campaign starting things off. The app can record data from multiple brushes, meaning every member of a family can see how everyone else is doing. The data can also be easily shared with friends, and even the dentist.
On the surface, it's hard to imagine a lot of people deciding they need something like a connected toothbrush. But with individual health getting more attention than ever, it's certainly possible people will see the benefit of something that keeps a close eye on how well they're treating their teeth, and which challenges them to do better.