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New Oral-B toothbrush uses location tracking to check your brushing technique

A fully connected intelligent toothbrush might be a little creepy, if so many of us didn’t know that we could probably be a lot better when it comes to dental hygiene. Oral-B has the proof that we’re slacking when it comes to brushing, and the solution. The firm created the Oral-B Genius, an electric toothbrush with location tracking technology. Alongside the Oral-B mobile app (for iOS and Android), the toothbrush works to determine exactly which parts of your mouth need more attention.

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Dentists are famous for promoting the two-minute brushing session, twice a day, for pretty much every mouth. But Oral-B found that the average brushing time was clocking in at a meager 45 seconds. And since brushing your teeth is a mindless routine, it can be a hard habit to improve.

That’s why the Oral-B Genius is intended to bring the smart phone-enabled dental hygiene experience to a whole new level. The Genius comes with a suction-cup mount, making it easy to prop your smart phone in front of you while brushing at the bathroom sink. The mobile app then runs an Oral-B video-recognition algorithm by tapping into the smartphone’s camera. The system combines the camera feed and data from the smart toothbrush’s motion and acceleration sensors, so it knows exactly where the brush is in your mouth at all times.


The Oral-B Genius app then shows a map of your mouth, split into zones that identify which areas need more attention before you can quit brushing. Dentists can help users identify brushing modes like daily clean, deep clean, massage mode, whitening mode, tongue cleaner, and a sensitive mouth setting. If your dentist feels that specific zones need more brush time, users can customize the app to tack on more time before declaring those zones sufficiently clean.

In addition to longer brushing times in the zones that need it most, Oral-B wants to open up the fun of brushing to third-party app developers. The company hopes that the Oral-B API and SDK will help developers create games that help kids enjoy brushing, or build rewards programs where brushing achievements can unlock rewards.

Genius toothbrushes will ship in some European countries in July, but you’ll have to wait until the fall of 2016 if you want to get your hands on one in the U.S. In addition to the brush and suction-cup mount, each Genius unit will include two brush heads and a travel case that includes a battery pack to recharge the brush. Since you’ll have to use your smart phone every time you brush your teeth, the travel case also features a USB port for easy phone charging. Oral-B hasn’t released an official price yet, but they expect a sharable two-person unit to cost around $250.