Smart toothbrushes of the future could be used with smart mirrors to encourage better brushing, according to Oral B. Demonstrating the technology at Mobile World Congress the dental care company said it was now opening up its toothbrush software to third party developers to allow others to make apps.
The first third-party apps for Oral B’s smart toothbrushes should be available in October, with exactly what apps are built entirely up to the developer.
The company said developers could use its own cloud data to receive and store anonymous brushing information or build their own apps for use with its toothbrushes. Users will be able to choose if their brushing data is shared with third party companies, Oral B said.
One example the company gave of a potential use for the technology was a smart mirror. The mirror, which has a large screen embedded behind it, encourages children to brush properly by showing them a story.
Correct brushing will see the story progress, with a castle and rainbow popping up on the mirror — incorrect brushing will cause a monster to appear. If a child brushes well they will also be rewarded with an interactive story on their phone or tablet, which can be watched later in the day.
Adults can use the smart mirror too, with weather and travel updates, news headlines and a brushing timer displayed on the side of the mirror. A spokesperson for the company said the technology was ready to go but that it was just a proof of concept for the time being.
More immediately, Oral B has updated the Android and iOS app used alongside its smart toothbrushes. One of the new features lets dentists and hygienists give advice on how patients should be brushing.
Dentists can use the app to add extra brushing time to daily routines or focus on specific areas of the mouth. Patients can also share how well they are doing with their hygienist or dentist through the app and get feedback.
Another new feature lets users set up their own brushing routines to target whiter teeth, fresher breath or better gum health. Updates to the Oral B app are coming in summer 2015.
Source: Smart toothbrushes use storytelling to get kids to brush, James Temperton ( http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2015-03/02/oral-b-smart-mirror )