Last year's CES brought us the Hapifork, one of the more unusual entries in the rapidly growing category of sensor-equipped devices designed to track the quantified self. At CES 2014, another French startup is taking that idea and running with it to produce something even more outlandish — meet the Kolibree smart toothbrush. Kolibree's product is designed to "outsmart your dentist," in the company's words, by analyzing your brushing and letting you track your habits over time through an app for Android and iOS devices.
Kolibree's toothbrush contains a sensor that tracks the areas of your mouth that you're brushing, and will let you know what sections might need a little more attention. The toothbrush will also measure how often and how long you spend working on your dentures; if you're being slack in certain areas or sloppy in technique, you'll get a lower percentage rating. "While Kolibree doesn’t proclaim to solve periodontal disease or suggest it can keep cavities or gingivitis at bay," the company admits in a press release, "the better you take care of your teeth, the more likely you can and will avoid serious problems."
Although the corridors of the Mandalay Bay hotel and casino resort are not the most appropriate place to use a toothbrush, we took the opportunity to see the Kolibree hardware for ourselves alongside an early version of the app. Kolibree will launch a Kickstarter campaign this summer, with prices ranging between $99 and $200 for various models.
- Unlike outlandish tracking gadgets such as the Hapifork, the Kolibree wouldn't look out of place in any home. You wouldn't know it was anything other than a regular electric toothbrush just by looking at it.
- Kolibree tells us that the bristle design will be overhauled for the final model.
- The software assesses your brushing and gives you a percentage rating once you're done. Right now it's only calculated based on the amount of time spent, but the final version will analyze things like brushing technique and the amount of time spent on different parts of the mouth.
- The app can track the brushing scores of multiple people, letting parents compare their kids' dental performance at a glance. Although the Kolibree features switchable heads and a single toothbrush can be used for multiple users, the company would prefer each family member buy their own.
- Kolibree takes its name from the Colibri genus of hummingbird, with its electronic vibrations echoing the rapid beating of wings.