London-based startup Playbrush started to ship the first of its toothbrushing game controllers on Wednesday.
The idea could sound like something from outer space, but it makes sense when you try it — Playbrush uses a connected toothbrush to control movement in the mobile game, with the clear aim of supporting kids toothbrushing habits.
“To be honest, it was always my biggest childhood problem. I am still suffering from it,” co-founder Paul Varga told Hybe in an interview.
"I had always, in the back of my head, the idea to make toothbrushing better. Then I saw my god-child, whose also a bad brusher. His mum put an iPad in bathroom and showed little Youtube clips. I saw it a couple of times, it kind of worked - he at least stayed in the bathroom for 2 minutes, holding the toothbrush and watching the videos."
Seeing the potential of interaction gave Varga the idea of building Playbrush in early 2014. In May Playbrush raised 40,193 pounds from 382 backers on Kickstarter. The company started to ship the product on Wednesday.
The obvious question is: how do the dentists take it? "Way better than what we expected in the beginning,” says Varga. Around a hundred of them have been involved in the development process one way or another and some of the top specialists are advising the team to make the most out of the opportunity.
Having the tootbrushing platform ready, Playbrush is now open to co-operation with other content providers and also device-makers. The idea of using your toothbrush for Angry Birds or some first-person shooter games might still be way off though, but if gamifying toothbrushing is all it takes Playbrush could soon have a lot of happy parents as its customers.