According to a report over at GigaOm, one-year-old startup, Beam Technologies, plans to commercially launch a Bluetooth-enabled toothbrush and companion app next month. Beam's connected toothbrush leverages a sensor and Bluetooth to send brushing data to its companion smartphone app. The company sees an opportunity to build out a number of features and services based on the toothbrush tracking and also plans to add some gaming elements to the offering in the future.
Beam CEO Alex Frommeyer told GigaOm that the $50 Beam Brush will become available in early March. Replacements for the toothbrush head will cost $3. Frommeyer said that the Android companion app is already finished and the iOS version will launch around the time the toothbrush does. Beam is also expecting to land its first round of funding (less than $1 million) in the next few weeks.
MobiHealthNews first reported on a similar device we learned about in 2009 at the BodyNets conference in Los Angeles. Rice University assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering Lin Zhong told us that his team of Rice University researchers had developed an intelligent toothbrush that was able to determine how long a person brushed for, what type of movements the toothbrush was making and whether the user brushed comprehensively. Zhong noted that teaching kids to brush correctly is a difficult prospect.
Another high profile startup, GreenGoose, has mentioned plans to offer a very similar offering to the Beam Brush. Around this time last year GreenGoose demonstrated how its tiny sensors and accelerometers could be used to track usage of everyday items. The Brush Sensor that GreenGoose thought up appears to attach to pretty much any toothbrush, unlike the Beam Brush, which is a toothbrush itself. Beam Brush has a built-in business model, however, users have to reorder $3 toothbrush heads to keep using it.
More on the Beam Brush over at GigaOm here.