Beam aims to turn any toothbrush into a tracker

By Jonah Comstock
beam brush app The Beam Brush app.

After reducing its FDA 510(k)-cleared smart toothbrush from $49.99 down to $24.99, Beam Technologies is offering a new version of its product, via pre-orders, for $19.99. The Beam Brush Bug, which the company informed customers about today in an email, is a small adhesive accelerometer they can attach to any toothbrush or flossing device.

The sensor will connect to an app, allowing users to track their oral hygiene. The original Beam Brush app tracks brushing habits, including frequency and duration, as well as time spent in each quadrant of the mouth. According to the email, users of the new device can "play brushing games and earn rewards with your kids" and "receive discounts on your dental insurance and favorite consumer products."

The sensor contains a replaceable coin cell battery, which the company says lasts for one year. It's compatible with Android 2.3 and newer systems or iPhone 4S and newer systems.

The sticker form factor allows the device to be used with flossing devices and possibly electric toothbrushes, in addition to manual toothbrushes like the original Beam Brush. It also allows users to track brushing with the manual toothbrush of their choice.

Startup Green Goose raised $500,000 back in 2011 for a similar concept. The company made sticker sensors that users could put on toothbrushes, as well as on pill bottles or glasses of water. They would send a signal to a Green Goose app, and users could earn points based on how objects were picked up and used.

Green Goose CEO Brian Krejcarek was interviewed at the Launch Conference in San Francisco this past spring. He said the company has since pivoted to app-connected children's toys.

"We had been here two years ago with some little wireless sitcker sensors that went on things like medicine bottles and toothbrushes and that kind of thing," he said in a YouTube video posted by the Creo Agency. "And we just weren't able to find product market fit. ... Those little sticker sensors that were all about gamification of healthy behaviors, and that's really hard to do because people just don't necessarily like getting exercise or doing things they don't want to do."

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NASA astronaut Scott Kelly checks out the Microsoft HoloLens aboard a space station on February 20, 2016. The device is part of NASA's project Sidekick, which is exploring the use of augmented reality to reduce crew training requirements and increase the efficiency with which astronauts can work in space. (Photo by NASA via Getty Images)