Even toothbrushes are now a part of the Internet of Things.
Proctor and Gamble’s Oral-B previewed an upcoming connected toothbrush at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week. It’s an example of how everyday items from clothing to basketballs are now delivering data to apps and services. Oral-B is using device connectivity to monitor and improve brushing habits.
Oral-B’s SmartSeries 7000 toothbrush connects to smartphones via Bluetooth to record information about how it's being used, and is controlled by its accompanying app. The app scrutinizes brushing activities such as duration, intensity and technique to steer the user toward better dental hygiene. Mid-brushing entertainment is also provided with breaking news, tips on brushing, and other information being displayed.
Sensors are embedded in the toothbrush to furnish that information. The app can also be used to program the toothbrush, which has several different cleaning modes that control how the brush pulsates in your mouth.
The SmartSeries toothbrush will cost around US$220 and become generally available later this year.
It sounds like a novelty, but Oral-B is tapping into a rapidly growing market. Its connected toothbrush is part of a wider trend of smartphones being utilized for home health. Smartphones can even perform urinalyses at home.
The mobile health market is projected to grow to $392 million in 2015, according to Frost & Sullivan. This growth has led U.S. government regulators to issue guidance on mobile medical apps (there are thousands).
(Credit: Shara Tibken/CNET)