Much has happened since we had our first encounter with the Kolibree smart sonic toothbrush at CES in January 2014: The Bluetooth-enabled Kolibree secured more than $100,000 in Kickstarter funding a few months later, began shipping to backers in February of this year, and is now being replaced with a new model that’s both better and more affordable.
The new Kolibree improves upon the original with better Bluetooth connectivity and more precise motion tracking, and is $50 cheaper at $149. According to the Paris-based company behind the toothbrush, all the valuable feedback it received from users of the first-gen model helped inform these changes. The Kolibree companion app has also undergone an overhaul and boasts the following new features:
Go Pirate 2, the kids' game: Proper brushing is rewarded through scores, badges, and advancing age-based levels; the leaderboard enables friendly family competition.
Kolibree Index: Combines frequency, regularity, and quality of brushing to keep tabs on dental hygiene habits.
Check Up: A quick visual view of areas you missed.
Reminders: Set your own times so you’ll remember to brush twice a day.
Offline mode: Use the Kolibree toothbrush and sync your brushing data even when you’re not using the app (e.g., brush twice a day and sync twice a week)
How it works
The Kolibree uses a slew of onboard sensors—3D motion sensor, accelerometer, gyrometer and magnetometer—to analyze your brushing habits, and it uses the findings to present you with a clear picture of your dental hygiene (or lack thereof). It tells you if your brushing sessions tend to last as long as they should, and whether all quadrants of your mouth are receiving the attention they deserve. Its findings and suggestions are relayed to you via a companion app in the form of daily and weekly reports, which you can easily share with your dentist as well.
There is special emphasis on making brushing seem fun to kids—and maybe grownups for whom avoiding the specter of painful and expensive dental procedures isn’t enough motivation. Lest its suggestions be ignored by the young ones, it gamifies the whole experience using mini games and brushing competitions featuring symbolic prizes.
The impact on you at home: The new model may or may not be as good as the company says it is, but there’s no doubt it’s significantly lower price tag makes it more compelling than the first-gen model. Unfortunately, it still comes across as a bit of a hard sell to us as there are much more affordable options out there: The Oral-B Pro 5000 we reviewed back in February is going for about $102 (down from $130) on Amazon, while a connected toothbrush for kids from Philips is available for $40 (down from $50) on the same site.