What it is: Philips Sonicare is launching a new smart toothbrush that connects to an app via Bluetooth.
Most people brush their teeth without knowing how well they’re really doing until they get feedback six months to a year later from their dental hygienist. Such lengthy times between feedback means that dental problems caused by improper brushing can persist and cause problems without being detected.
To solve this problem, Philips Sonicare offers a Bluetooth enabled toothbrush that connects to a smartphone app. By viewing the app on your smartphone, you can see which parts of your teeth you’ve brushed properly and which areas you may have missed. Now based on this immediately feedback, you can correct the problem before it gets out of hand.
The idea of as Bluetooth-enabled toothbrush might seem a bit like technological overkill, but it does present the idea of immediate feedback in ways that ordinary toothbrushes can’t match. Knowing how well you’re brushing and seeing a picture on a smartphone app can turn brushing into both feedback and a game. By proper brushing, under the guidance of a smart toothbrush, you can take better care of your teeth.
Real-time health monitoring is the killer app for wearable and mobile computers. Anyone want to monitor their heart rate using a regular PC? Want to exercise and track your calories burned by lugging a laptop around all the time? Mobile and wearable computers are reaching into areas that traditional computers can never access, which means we can expect new health breakthroughs beyond real-time tooth brushing feedback.
As more devices get smarter, it’s not hard to believe that routine eye exams, hearing exams, and even medical exams can be conducted entirely on smartphones and wearable computers. While some people don’t see a need for a wearable computer like an Apple Watch, everyone can see a need for maintaining their health through mobile and wearable computers. Initially, expect the elderly and the sick to embrace health monitoring apps and wearable computers. Then expect ordinary consumers to embrace real-time health monitoring to prevent problems before they can occur.
Apple is already testing a non-invasive glucose monitor that can show you the effect certain foods (candy, ice cream, soda, etc.) can have on your body while you’re eating it. Once you can see how negatively certain foods affect your body, you can modify your behavior (hopefully) based on this immediately, real-time feedback.
Health monitoring will be what makes wearable computers essential to practically everyone. While a smart toothbrush might seem like a gimmick, you can already imagine how its real-time feedback feature can be valuable and worth the price for better dental care. If you value yourself and your teeth, why wouldn’t you want a device that could improve your health at minimal cost?