Kolibree crowdfunds its smartphone-enabled electric toothbrush on Kickstarter

By Aditi Pai
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KolibreeFour months after Paris-based Kolibree announced its smartphone-connected electric toothbrush at CES 2014, the company has launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign.

Kolibree's connected toothbrush has sensors that detect not only how long users brushed their teeth, but also whether they hit all the hard to reach places between gums and teeth. Kolibree wants brushing to last two minutes and the app will alert the user when time is up. Since the app doesn't run in the background, while brushing, users can scroll their Twitter feed, watch a video, or listen to a song through Kolibree's app.

The company plans to develop different games that children can play while brushing their teeth so they brush for longer, according to their Kickstarter page. One such game prompts children to race a car down a track and grab objects while they drive.

Stats from the user's brushing experience are sent via Bluetooth to the mobile app, where the user can choose either to keep them private or to share them with his or her family or dentist. The app also supports multiple users so a whole family can be included in the same profile.

The brushing data will be available via an API, so third party designers can build games or other applications that use the smart toothbrush.

Early backers can purchase the toothbrush for $99 and the brushes are expected to ship October 2014, although crowdfunded projects often ship much later than their expected shipping date.

Shortly after CES, in February 2014, dental hygiene company Oral-B announced its Bluetooth-connected electric toothbrush line, SmartSeries, which will be available in Germany this spring and in the United States in June. The Oral-B companion app will be available on iOS devices in May, and on Android devices in August.

In March 2014, Oral-B partnered with Disney to launch a brushing app for children, called Disney Magic Timer App by Oral-B. While the app does not have a connected toothbrush attached, to use the app, the kids need to scan the barcode from the Oral-B or Crest Pro-Health Stages toothbrush, a product line that targets children who are going through different stages of brushing (from four months to 7 years old).