Next Up In Smart Technologies: The Smart Toothbrush

By Joelle Renstrom | Updated

This article is more than 2 years old

smartbrushEverything from recent NSA revelations to drones to remote-controlled roaches suggests that the future will inevitably hold numerous new ways of spying on people. In addition to robots, this year’s CES, featured plenty of smart gadgets, including a smart-toothbrush. Maybe 2013 won’t end up being the year for smart-gadgets after all.

Kolibree has made the first internet-connected toothbrush. Why? Because the smartwig and smartbra weren’t enough, perhaps? Or maybe because a toothbrush that monitors our brushing habits could turn us all into oral hygiene experts. Or maybe because dental insurance costs too much. Regardless, the Kolibree smart toothbrush analyzes how often you brush, how long you brush, and how you brush to keep long-term data about the progress of your teeth and gums. The toothbrush can be synced to a smart device via Bluetooth, and then brushing stats can be sent to a user’s Kolibree account and accessed via a mobile app compatible with IOS, Samsung Galaxy, and others, which will be available for download in July.

The Kolibree app will cover an entire family (up to five people), allowing for additional users and toothbrushes to be synced to a main account. All those kids who lie about whether they’ve brushed their teeth before bed will have a tough time evading the Kolibree, which will rat them out in a heartbeat. I suppose, though, that this brush could be used to make brushing fun, given that the app awards a user a brushing score with each use. Users can accrue badges and, according to Kolibree’s website, “stay motivated” and “share your performances on social networks.” Oh yeah, that’s all we need, isn’t it? Facebook posts and Tweets about someone’s brushing score? I suppose that’s less inane than many of the posts one sees in a day, though.

Smart-technology has invaded the realm of wearables and accessories, and the trend will only continue. At some point, all appliances will be smart or synced to smartphones. What smart innovation do you think is coming next? The smart stove? The smart iron? Smart wedding rings? While I can see some benefits from such inventions, they also scare me a bit — what movements or activities of us won’t be tracked and monitored? If the NSA can hack anything and anyone, that means it could theoretically find out everything about us from the time we flush the toilet and brush our teeth in the morning to the time we take our coffee and microwave our lunches. That kind of monitoring has already become normalized, accepted as a necessary evil in a technological world. I suppose it’s a good thing teeth can’t talk.