CES 2015: Kolibree Steps Into a New Gaming Platform--the Toothbrush

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CES 2015: Kolibree Steps Into a New Gaming Platform--the Toothbrush

These days, it's starting to seem like you can play games on just about anything. Your computer, of course, and dedicated game systems have always been a part of the equation. But soon after came gaming on televisions, on mobile devices—tablets and phones alike—and beyond. Now, we have what may well be the strangest example of gaming yet, specifically, the toothbrush. Kolibree, meanwhile, is going to show us how the toothbrush is the oddest platform for gaming yet, but at the same time, may also be one of the most reasonable.

The Kolibree system is a smart electric toothbrush that runs $200. Not exactly out of the ordinary, if the price is a bit saltier than most, but still a bit unusual. But what makes this particularly noteworthy for our purposes is that the Kolibree toothbrush has been connected to gaming apps, using a combination of connectivity and 3D motion sensors to figure out where it is in the mouth. With that, the toothbrush then can control a game, like a “Temple Run” style affair in which a pirate runs along the beach and collects coins; should the toothbrush be in the wrong place, the coins don't get picked up. At the end of the session, users see how well they've performed on a tooth map; teeth colored gold have been well-cleaned, while teeth colored red have not been. The device is available for $200, and is set to ship later this month for United States users. Those with Dentegra insurance, meanwhile, will be able to pick it up for a discount.

Admittedly, Kolibree isn't the first such toothbrush controller; back in April, the Grush toothbrush offered gaming options as part of its package. But there definitely aren't many parties in this particular venture, and that makes every new release in this field noteworthy for a while. It's actually a clever enough idea; we know that kids—and even adults—don't always brush the way they should, and as such, a toothbrush designed to fix that particular issue is probably going to be worthwhile to both parents eager to instill proper dental hygiene practices in kids and for those who want to augment their own brushing regiment, all with a little slice of fun tossed in for variety. That's not unwelcome, and it should ultimately prove valuable.

All this together proves that gaming can come from just about anywhere, and be put to work in a host of different and sometimes unexpected ways. That kind of innovation keeps gaming running, and we're likely to see this kind of thing keep cropping up, even after CES concludes.

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