Oral-B has for many years been pushing the boundaries of electric toothbrushes, trying to make them better, smarter and ultimately more useful to you and me.
The Genius X is their best effort yet — it makes use of sensors built into the brush handle and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to track your tooth brushing and educate you on ways in which you could improve your technique and general dental health based on the data it obtains.
I don’t think their current approach is all that bad, I really like it. But, this hasn’t stopped them from working on a slightly different approach, which I think many users will find more practical in day to day use than the current setup of smart toothbrushes.
With statistics suggesting 23% of adults only brush their teeth once a day, despite the NHS recommendations being 2 times, something needs to be done to encourage better brushing habits.
Enter then Oral-B Sense.
Sense gives real-time feedback on your brushing via the charging stand that the toothbrush sits on.
The charging stand itself is WiFi enabled to be able to communicate with the brush handle.
Just like other smart Oral-B toothbrushes, this new toothbrush will still communicate with the smartphone via an app, but you need not rely on it in quite the same way as you might currently with models like the Genius 9000 or Genius X.
In fact, the new Oral-B Sense electric toothbrush looks identical, colour being the only noticeable difference.
However, the magic is in the charging stand and the data it conveys back to you in real-time and the smartphone app.
Via 4 LEDs visible on the top of the stand (1 for each quadrant), it communicates to you how long you have brushed for and if you are brushing with too much pressure, as well as giving you cues to move form one quadrant to another. This should keep you on track to brush for the full 2 minutes, which will be symbolised by all 4 lights being lit (and flashing green).
These are things that currently available brush handles do already, but with this configuration, you have got that constant visual stimulus to look at that is more helpful.
Seeing as the charging stand is for most people within a few feet of where they brush I think this is a clever alternative approach and does not require a smartphone to be at hand. That said the data still gets transferred back to a smartphone app. This is what really closes the loop and takes full advantage of the technology available as it compiles the data and gives you the essential feedback on screen as well as through other notification methods such as email, should you choose.
Oral-B have partnered with Thrive Global to create Oral-B Sense.
The fundamental principle is users develop better brushing habits via a series of microsteps that encourage this and to ultimately spend 2 minutes brushing their teeth twice a day.
Arianna Huffington, CEO of Thrive Global is quoted as saying:
At Thrive Global, our mission is to help people develop healthier habits to end the stress and burnout epidemic and unlock their full potential. We help people go from knowing what to do to actually doing it through Microsteps. Oral-B Connect is born out of the same mission, proving that new technology can help us not only transform routine habits from mundane to meaningful, but also increase compliance and lead to better health outcomes. And by embedding behaviour change content within Oral-B Connect’s feedback loop, we can help consumers begin to habit-stack, adding Microsteps like a daily gratitude practice to the 2 minutes they already spend brushing their teeth.
The following video shows the brush in action.
At the time of writing, Oral-B Sense is launching in the USA first. There is no word yet on the precise launch date or the price, but Oral-B suggests it will be arriving in the Spring of 2020 in the USA. All being well the UK & European launch will come shortly after.
I will be sure to keep you updated and I hope to test this product out for myself when it arrives.