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On Monday, Oral-B launched an electronic toothbrush that it claims uses artificial intelligence to help customers brush better. We’ve seen AI used in the heath industry grow in recent years with applications ranging from improving medical imaging to heart monitors on our wristwatches.
The new toothbrush, called the Oral-B Genius X, wirelessly connects via Bluetooth to the user’s smartphone. An app guides brushers by displaying a timer and suggesting which area of the mouth to focus the bristles. I have an old Phillips Sonicare that does this through a timer and vibrating pulse that tells me when to switch quadrants. The Genius X is far more precise, though.
The brush has sensors that detect the amount of pressure and where in your mouth, the user is focusing. Using this data, the app’s “Genius X AI algorithm” makes suggestions when applying too much pressure or not spending enough time in a particular area. It will also display a rating on how well each brushing session went.
This is not the first connected toothbrush we have seen. Kolibree introduced one back at CES 2014, and Oral-B also released one that year as well. However, earlier versions of its smart brush used the phone’s camera instead of sensors, which is a little creepy.
As you would expect, AI-aided oral hygiene comes with a hefty price tag. The Genius X retails for about $220. Similar offerings from Kolibree go for $70 - $120 less. However, it does come with some cool accessories out of the box, including 3 brush heads, a charger, and a travel case that can charge the handle and your smartphone.
My dentist tells me I do a pretty decent job brushing and flossing, so I think I’ll just stick with my 10-year-old Sonicare.