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Apr 13, 2015 1:15 PM ET

Archived: Playbrush: We transform toothbrushes into gaming controllers – so kids and young-at-hearts can play fun & interactive mobile games while brushing

iCrowdNewswire - Apr 13, 2015

Playbrush – We make brushing teeth fun

by Playbrush

We transform toothbrushes into gaming controllers – so kids and young-at-hearts can play fun & interactive mobile games while brushing.

About this project

How can you bring Playbrush to life?

It’s simple: Just have a look at the Rewards section on the right side and select a pledge you want to receive. There you can order Playbrush and help bringing our project to life!

What is Playbrush?

Playbrush is a smart hardware gadget that transforms your conventional toothbrush into a gaming controller – so you can play fun & interactive mobile games while brushing your teeth. 

Regardless of whether you are a kid or a grown-up, we aim to help you with your daily brushing routine by making it fun, fostering intrinsic motivation and using in-game performance to improve your brushing behavior. 

Playbrush mentioned in the News!

Awards received by Playbrush!

How it all started! 

Being reluctant brushers ourselves, we were inspired by Paul’s little godson, who – like most adventurous kids – prefers playing, learning and exploring over the daily brushing routine. Reminded of our childhood, we set forth to finally solve this problem, join the tooth fairy and make brushing teeth fun. 

After talking to multiple children, parents, dentists and health experts we came up with Playbrush: A smart hardware gadget, that easily connects to conventional toothbrushes and transforms those into gaming controllers – so kids and young-at-heart grown-ups can play fun & instructional mobile games while brushing their teeth. 

Who is it for?

Working closely with families and dentists we have been able to test Playbrush with over 250 kids so far. The valuable feedback not only encouraged us to finally make brushing fun, but also helped us to sharpen our product and build something the kids love.

Kids using Playbrush
Kids using Playbrush

We have tested with excited two-year-olds, brushing with their parents, but also reluctant fourteen-year-old teenagers, who enjoyed our games as well. Still, we are currently focusing on 4 to 10 year-olds, and building our first game mainly for them. 

Play & Brush
Play & Brush
Play & Brush
Play & Brush

However, plenty of grown-ups have tested and enjoyed brushing with Playbrush as well.

#{project_title}'s video poster

Matthäus Brushing

 Playbrush works for both: kids and young-at-heart grown ups.

A shareable family gadget!

To get the design right we have been working with dentists, families and fantastic industrial designers. We agreed on building a “smart toothbrush add-on” instead of a “smart toothbrush”, so families can use it with conventional toothbrushes and the gadget can be shared among brothers and sisters easily.

Playbrush Proprietary Prototype
Playbrush Proprietary Prototype

The gadget is not only working with almost all conventional toothbrushes via its elastic head, it is also safe, waterproof and the material is similar to normal toothbrush material.

 Gaming for good! 

We strongly believe that playing games fosters intrinsic motivation within children and changes their perception on brushing forever. Instead of perceiving oral hygiene as a “boring” or “annoying” daily routine, gaming can enhance their motivation and consciousness about regular oral hygiene. 

Alongside making it fun, we emphasize on regular brushing (2 times a day), brushing duration (2-3 min) and accuracy (brushing in every part of the mouth) via in-game performance. 

How does it work?

We are creating both hardware and software. The hardware consists of our sophisticated, kids-friendly cover and the Printed Circuit Board holding the relevant motion sensors. 

After testing with hundreds of toothbrushes, we are sure that Playbrush works with almost any toothbrush you can buy. Simply plug your normal toothbrush into our smart hardware gadget and off you go. 

Start the app on your phone or tablet and the gadget will automatically connect to it via Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth Smart). 

Now you are able to start playing. Via motion sensors and time we determine your brushing behavior and translate it into real-time games – so you can play interactively while brushing your teeth.

Your in-game performance helps us to provide brushing feedback, encourage you and keep you focused – to improve your personal oral health. 

First Prototyping!

In July 2014 we created our first Playbrush prototype, by disassembling electric toothbrushes and integrating various sensors. This helped us to analyze brushing behavior based on motion detection.

Initial Prototyping
Initial Prototyping

We soon moved to more specific developer tools, which helped to build our first simple iOS game, using the motion data in real-time. We iterated quickly, applying the principles of rapid prototyping, lean startup and agile development and our product became smaller, prettier and more functional.

Prototypes over time
Prototypes over time

Combining trends to innovate! 

We are leveraging several macro trends and recent technology developments to innovate, build a great product and change the future of brushing. 

  • Gamification – Playbrush is making use of gamification to improve brushing motivation and change oral health behavior in the long-run. 
  • Sensor Technologies – Playbrush uses state-of-the-art sensor technologies to create fun & interactive games and provide brushing feedback. 
  • mHealth – Playbrush focuses on prevention in dental health, leveraging smartphones and tablets to foster oral hygiene. 
  • Educational – Playbrush strongly believes in the value of games to teach children about hygiene and create long-lasting habits. 

Our Rewards!

Join our journey and make brushing teeth finally fun. Be among the first to get our unique gadget, that transforms your toothbrush into a gaming controller. Leverage your smartphone or tablet as a tool to improve your kids’ brushing behavior by using our mobile game. 

Your pledges will be used to set up the first production batch of our gadget and deliver it to you. We will also take some time to improve our current game, including brushing feedback, new challenges, different worlds and characters. 

  • Goal: Reaching our £35,000 goal will provide the funding to manufacture and ship the first batch of gadgets and finish the development of our game for iOS devices (iPhones, iPads, iPod touch supporting Bluetooth Low Energy). 
  • Stretch Goal: We want to build Playbrush games for Android as well, but the multitude of devices makes it time-consuming and more expensive. Reaching our £100,000 stretch goal will make Playbrush games available for Android (Bluetooth Low Energy supporting devices) as well. 

Toothbrushes for kids in need!

Good brushing and oral hygiene is important – not only for wearing a smile and fighting cavities. It also affects body hygiene, general health and the immune system.

We consider Playbrush not as a lifestyle project – but as an agent of change in the world of oral health. While brushing is fundamentally broken and a lot of kids and grown-ups do not brush regularly, long-enough and accurately, there are millions of kids not being able to brush at all. 

To help these kids as well, we are sending a quality toothbrush to a child in need for every gadget sold and every pledge made starting from our £9 pledge.

Our brilliant graphic designer is already supporting a school in Uganda. So we decided to follow her, sending the toothbrushes to the Buhoma Community School close to the Bwindi National Park. 

Some of the 400 kids sleep in the school, as their daily commute would be too long, and most of them have regular meals in the school. Providing a continuous supply of toothbrushes will foster good oral hygiene and improve dental health.

Our Roadmap!

Our hardware is working and ready for serial production. While we are considering minor redesigns, the basic product won’t change and we have already found some reliable European suppliers to manufacture at scale.

To guarantee the best potential gaming experience we will use the time until November 2015 to finalize our first game. To make brushing & playing even more fun, we will improve our algorithm, provide feedback and add multiple worlds, levels and characters. 

We plan to ship the early bird gadgets in November 2015 and the majority of the products before Christmas, in December 2015.

Playbrush Cartoon!

 Join our Journey to make brushing finally fun!


Risks and challenges

We will do everything in our power to leave you well looked after and deliver your rewards on-time or early.

For us it is utterly important delivering all pledges in a timely manner, however, as with any product that involves manufacturing and external production, external delays could become an issue. We are working with reliable suppliers in Europe, within easy geographical reach to make sure we control the development process and mitigate production risk.

Even though our entrepreneurial team is quite young, we have developed the product so far ourselves, without any major delay in our schedule. Our core team is supported by experienced entrepreneurs, advisors, engineers and designers.

We will focus on keeping our brushers and supporters always up-to-date about the development and inform them about any changes and potential delays.

Thank you for your understanding and patience – and joining our journey to make brushing finally fun!

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