Question One: Would you be more motivated to brush your teeth if it were part of a game?
Question Two: Do you really any more incentive to brush your teeth?
“Quantified self” is one of the big focal points at CES this year: It seems like company has some kind wristband or device designed to help you sleep, eat or exercise well with the magic of personal data tracking. Among them is French hardware start-up Kolibree, manufacturers of the first “Smart Toothbrush.”
So it’s come to this.
The Kolibree toothbrush sends brushing data, which includes time of day, frequency duration and “coverage,” to a smartphone via bluetooth. Using the companion app, users can look at nicely packed charts and graphs about their oral hygiene habits.
While the primary pitch of the device is focused on improving oral health – the Kolibree app gives you tips on how to improve your technique based on its data – the creator also suggests the smart toothbrush could be used to make a game out brushing your teeth. Kolibree suggests “Fun with Hygiene” as one the device’s main selling points:
“The toothbrush will also be able to talk to other applications on your phone, so an enterprising developer could, for instance, create a game controlled by your toothbrush. You could score points for chasing monsters among your teeth.”
Now, Kolibree isn’t leaving it completely up to third-parties: the company website says the device “gamifies” the brushing experience by doling out achievements, presumably for usage milestones. (You brush your teeth everyday! YAY!) I’m not sure exactly what kind of game(s) Kolibree has in mind, but based on what the smart toothbrush does, I’m not sure what they’re talking about. A brushing game could be great get kids into the habit, but I think developers will be hard-pressed to create something one would describe as actively “fun.”
If you’re into the idea of smart toothbrush, whatever the reason, the Kolibree smart toothbrush will be available in the third quarter of 2014. To give you a slightly more specific timeframe, the companion app will be available on iOS and Android in July.