Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Why do I need a WiFi enabled toothbrush?

I was amused last week when people were scoffing at a new WiFi enabled toothbrush. The concept relates directly back to a blog I wrote awhile back called “The 20 Computers you WILL own in 5 years”. I finished off the blog by saying 20 was an understatement and the number will likely be closer to 100.

Enter SmartToothbrushes.

The value proposition (if I can call it that) of a internet enabled toothbrush is simply to drive better personal hygiene in kids. We all know (or have been guilty of ourselves) that some children race through brushing their teeth and no amount of parental guidance about the dangers of plaque, false teeth by 30 or looking funny in front of friends seems to do the trick.

What if social media was the answer? Making brushing teeth the latest craze in Wii games! I know my brushing habits would have been better if I showed up to school the next day and was the subject of ridicule. It is a crazy concept, yes. Will it work? Perhaps.

Enter SmartTreadmill.

Another concept that probably has more chances of succeeding is SmartExercise. We all know that peer pressure drives behavior. Yes, in post-college adults too! If you have ever been in a Biggest Loser work competition, or joined a gym or team with a friend, we know that social pressure can deliver results.
Now you proceed to the treadmill and program a run. Do you virtually run around the neighborhood? Rome? Hawaii Iron Man?

Your choice.

First the treadmill posts on Facebook that you are starting a running “event” that others can join. The trash talk begins. Google Maps then kicks in with an actual route including elevation. The treadmill automatically adjusts height based on the actual route and you watch the houses fly by in “street view” mode on the display. After the run, Facebook posts your time, encourages others to run the exact same route (at any time in the future), and downloads it to their treadmill. With an avatar of you running to motivate of course. More trash talk.

The point is not to convince you that pervasive computing will be real. It will be. The point is what devices do we use in our daily lives that could get “smarter” with an internet connection and integration with your online personality?
Yes, there are privacy concerns and the concept of having technology ubiquitous in your life is unsettling for most people. However, the next generations are growing up with this reality and may not think twice about razzing a schoolmate about their flossing habits.

Enter SmartDental Floss…..

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