Last month Intel started America’s Greatest Makers, a reality show on TBS with 24 teams of inventors competing for a $1 million prize. Starting with 24 teams, the number that could remain in the competition after seven weeks was reduced to five, and the season closed down yesterday with Grush declared the winner.
A push for Intel’s IoT efforts
In two ways, Intel is involved in the competition. First, CEO Brian Krzanich is one of the main panelists. Secondly, to qualify for the competition, it was mandatory for all of the projects to incorporate the button-sized Curie module that it designed to power the coming wave of connected objects.
Grush, a team of three people, developed a smart toothbrush that works with a mobile game and makes sure that children brush their teeth more thoroughly than they normally do. This is one product that Intel will have at its futuristic CES booth.
“The invention transforms teeth brushing into a series of fun and virtual games, entertaining and motivating children while allowing adults to digitally track brushing habits,” Intel said in a blog post.
Grush will be present their product at CES. The team hopes Krzanich will join them. The next step for the company should be to put out a product or at least get one ready for public demos.
Not a unique idea, but still better
The smart toothbrush by Grush is not a novel idea entirely as smart utensils like a vibrating fork have been seen in the past. Also toothbrush giant Oral-B has been making Bluetooth brushes for years, but what makes Grush interesting is not just how it works but for whom it is meant.
The toothbrush uses built-in sensors to tell users how they’re holding it and what areas of their mouth they might or might not be able to reach. The brush uses the Curie module’s on-board Bluetooth radio to send data to a companion app that turns the whole act of brushing into a game. It declares the user a winner only when they hit every tough-to-reach spot in the mouth.
Anubha Sacheti, Yongjing Wang and Ethan Schur developed this toothbrush together, and professionally, they are a pediatric dentist, futurist and inventor, respectively. Wang has a PhD in Physics, making him the most engineering-literate among the three. They began with the problem that bad teeth are a problem for many people, and people are prone to picking up bad habits faster and earlier. Also kids do not like brushing their teeth.