As the inaugural season of America’s Greatest Makers came to a rousing close last night, one determined inventor stood above the rest with a wildly innovative take on the modern toothbrush. Dubbed Grush (both the company and product), this toothbrush isn’t your ordinary battery-powered scrubber nor is it a run-of-the-mill smart brush. Rather, the company designed a toothbrush which allows its users (mainly kids) to engage in an interactive video game to achieve a thorough cleaning. That’s right, video games meets brushing your teeth; welcome to 2016.
Though not entirely groundbreaking, Grush’s invention addresses one of the biggest issues facing families today: kids brushing their teeth. Parents often struggle with their children actually brushing adequately, but with Grush, the video game does the leg work. By utilizing Bluetooth connectivity, a batch of built-in sensors, and a few creatively designed games, Grush accomplishes the seemingly impossible task of making brushing fun.
“Grush is the smart toothbrush system that detects detailed brushing information including precise brushing position, visualizes the brushing procedure, and provides real-time guidance for users,” Grush co-founder and COO Ethan Schur told Digital Trends. “Grush motivates children to brush using interactive mobile games, and allows parents to track and reward proper brushing habits.”
Aside from bragging rights among the Maker community, Grush also bagged a cool $1 million to use as it sees fit. The Grush team plans on investing these spoils back into the company in the form of new tools, materials, molds, firmware, and manufacturing. Additionally, the company intends to develop more compatible games for the brush while also strengthening its current cloud capability.
“We are so excited to win the title of America’s Greatest Makers,” Schur continued. “This is not only a victory for Grush, but also for parents all around the world, who want to end this daily battle with their kids over getting them to brush their teeth. It’s been eight years since we first thought of Grush, and it feels amazing to have our idea validated by such an esteemed lineup of celebrity judges.”Compare Grush to the competition, see here for electric toothbrushes for kids out on the market now
So how does it work? By utilizing its built-in sensors, Grush detects exactly how a user is holding the toothbrush, which then is capable of assessing which parts of the mouth require the most attention. In conjunction with one of three games — Monster Chase, Toothy Orchestra, and Brush-a-Pet — kids use the brush as a sort of motion wand controller (ala the Nintendo Wii) to achieve a high score, or what the company calls a “Grush Factor.” The Grush Factor not only gives kids something to perpetually work toward but also gives parents a snapshot of how effective each brushing session is.
On the heels of its TV debut (and now victory) the team at Grush says young children have been pining for their autographs at recent events like the Maker Faire in San Francisco. “It was so strange and thrilling to see a child begging her parents to get her a toothbrush,” Schur added during the finale.
Available now, the Grush video game toothbrush costs just $59 and comes standard with a sonic vibrating toothbrush, access to the suite of Grush Games, and a lifetime subscription to its data tracking service.