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Is a toothbrush really the most exciting thing at CES?

Of all the innovative creations set to be unveiled, what’s one of the most hyped so far? A toothbrush.


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The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is a chance to get a glimpse of the technologies of the near future; the awesome gadgets and gizmos you could soon get your hands on, for a price. This year’s four-day event kicks off in Las Vegas tomorrow, and there’s a lot of buzz around the products that will be on show. Of all the innovative creations set to be unveiled, what’s one of the most hyped so far? A toothbrush.

I’ve seen French company Kolibree’s “smart toothbrush” mentioned across the blogosphere, described as “one of the most intriguing launches at this year’s show,” and included in round-ups of this year’s anticipated highlights. It’s not any toothbrush, of course; it’s “the world’s first connected electric toothbrush.” But I still find it hard to believe that this is the most exciting tech we have to look forward to this year. I sure hope not.

Set to launch towards the end of the year, the toothbrush works like a regular electric toothbrush, except it also connects to a mobile app via Bluetooth and records “every brushing.” Basically, it tells you how often you brush, how long you’ve brushed for, and whether you’ve hit the hard-to-reach places in your mouth.

The idea is that by tracking your dental hygiene, you’ll get better at it. Because, as Kolibree writes on its website, “Let’s face the reality! Usually we are not the best to keep clean teeth.” (Speak for yourself.) You can even connect other toothbrushes to the app, so you can keep track of your whole family’s teeth-cleaning progress—if you buy each of your kids one of the $99-$200 brushes, that is.

CES always seems to bring out these sort of “wow look, a random everyday object—but connected!” kind of products, and they inevitably get a disproportionate amount of hype. Remember the HAPIfork from last year? The “smart fork” that measures how fast you eat ended up plastered across the media as if it were the greatest invention since the internet. What good is your smartphone anyway, if it won’t wirelessly connect with your silverware? Or, indeed, your toothbrush?

This kind of coverage likely stems from the fact that we love to see something new and a bit quirky. It’s all very well talking about the latest advances in consumer tech products we’re already familiar with, but that’s not as exciting as something we’ve never seen before, even if it is a bit of a gimmick. A 4K TV is still a TV. The “world’s first connected electric toothbrush” is a world-first, guys. 

Read the full story on Motherboard. Photo via Kolibree

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