Sunday, February 8, 2015

Oh, patents! GRUSH – A gaming toothbrush for kids!

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

You are going to steal your kid’s GRUSH! This is a Bluetooth®--enabled (no pun intended), motion-sensing toothbrush, that enables kids to visualize the effectiveness of brushing their teeth using interactive games that coach them into brushing in all the right places, for the right amount of time, and at the right time, twice every day! Additionally, for very thorough parenting styles.. the GRUSH app also gives parents a full dashboard report of their children's teeth brushing activity using a GRUSH score of brushing consistency and technique…!

Kids can see how they brush on the small animated screen of a Bluetooth-connected device such as a tablette or smartphone, and are coached to brush “30 seconds for every quadrant, with proper brush angle towards the gumline” all within the context of an interactive game where “every stroke is counted and rewarded”! Monster Chase, Toothy Orchestra and Brush a Pet are the three games that provide the interactive coaching and feedback for brushing.

The patent application US 2003001787 titled Toothbrush with electronic game apparatus recites this invention in broken English. In addition to the standard Bluetooth®-, motion sensing, connected toothbrush (manual or electric) and the apps for the interactive game, there are provisions in the patent for communication among family member toothbrushes! So, at some point in the future, you may no longer have to steal your kid’s GRUSH for the GRUSH experience of interactive brushing feedback on screen!

A pediatric dentist on staff at GRUSH appears to have endorsed this invention, claiming that it is sure to motivate kids to brush their teeth. Although admittedly, your kid will be the judge!  Otherwise, in its manually-operated version, the GRUSH will certainly have to compete with all the electric toothbrushes for kids, already on the market. Equipped with highly patented pulsating, oscillating and/or rotating tufts (e.g.; US 20120227201) designed to remove plaque and clean teeth in ways that exceed what can be achieved with manual brushing, electric toothbrushes have already accumulated irrefutable data (e.g.; Klukowska et al. 2009; Bartizek and Biesbrock 2002). Additionally, the use of a rotary or rotary-oscillating electric toothbrush with proactive manual rotary or vertical strokes appears counterproductive (US2014230169, [0002]), so the GRUSH motion-sensing and coaching for manual brushing would have to be re-programmed for an electric version of the GRUSH to prevent the use of counterproductive manual techniques with an electric toothbrush.

Below you will find the stylistically wanting abstract for US 2003001787 titled Toothbrush with electronic game apparatus, and a patent figure. And above an image of the “soon to be ” marketed product! You can pre-order here (for 59$). The GRUSH will ship sometime during Q1 2015. The GRUSH is designed for kids as young as three.

“Toothbrush with electronic-game apparatus”, as its alias “gamebrush”, has an electronic-gamer combined and turns boring daily tooth-cleaning into charming electronic-games. The toothbrush can detect what time user brush his teeth and for how long, it requests user do tooth-cleaning upon a regular daily timetable, morning and evening, twice a day. A good oral-care habit is the key factor for user to win in the electronic-game. The game model can be vast of kinds. Thetoothbrush use charming games to “bind” user with a regular daily timetable of tooth-cleaning. It encourages those people without good oral-care habit, especially kids and youngster, brush their teeth regularly. At the meantime, tooth-cleaning history records can be stored in the electronic-game IC chip, so user can check this history record. An advanced model of this toothbrush can communicate with each other and invert its game into multi-player model, another advanced model of this invention allows these toothbrush can speak with each other by voice, for example in a family pack son's toothbrush can speak with dad's toothbrushby voice, just like conversations between real family members. To contact inventor for licensing or other opportunities, please send email to: bizants_jeff@hotmail.com

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