For even the most persuasive of parents, getting the children to form healthy dental habits certainly has its challenges. San Francisco-based start-up Grush is aiming to make the brushing experience a little more appealing by incorporating elements of something much more enjoyable: video games.
The Grush system consists of a manual Wi-Fi-enabled toothbrush, a series of companion iOS and Android games, cloud-based data storage and a monitoring dashboard for parents.
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When the time comes to brush their teeth, children can mount their phone to the bathroom mirror using a custom-built holder and select a Grush game to guide them through their routine. Using a built-in 9DoF motion sensor and a wireless transmitter the brush tracks movements such as rotation, stroke and intensity. This data is then sent to the device in real-time, effectively acting as the user's in-game controls.
According to the company, the games have been designed to reflect recommendations on brushing technique from the American Dental Association. The series involves brushing away monsters in Monster Chase, using the brush to groom a virtual pet in Brush-a-pet, and playing bandmaster in Toothy Orchestra. Once the process is complete, the user is either given a score or a "Grush Factor," pertaining to the quality of the brush.
In addition to "gamifying" the most mundane of childhood tasks, Grush collects brushing data and stores it in the cloud. Parents can then access this information through a parental dashboard app and if they like, forward onto the family dentist for an expert opinion.
Grush joins fellow smart toothbrushes Kolibree and Beam in a collective bid to foster healthier oral hygiene through connected devices. These too are designed to track motion and monitor brushing technique, though Grush appears the first to strategically target kids by working gaming into the mix.
Grush is waterproof and powered by AAA batteries. The team has functioning prototypes and has turned to Indiegogo in order to raise funds and further develop the games and cloud infrastructure. A pledge of US$45 will put you in line for a Grush Brush, with shipping estimated for November 2014 if all goes to plan.
You can hear from the team behind Grush in the video below.