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Thursday, March 6, 2014

What did the toilet paper say to the toothbrush?

The toothbrush has been around since... ? (Hint: six years after Columbus sailed the ocean blue.)

And the toothbrush has felt sorry for itself all these years because, as our bathrooms have changed from outhouses to high tech wonders, it is still brusha, brusha, brusha, two or three times a day, pretty much the same old way... with auto vibration thrown in just to appease it.


Well, thanks to technology, it won't have to. There's now an App for that.

"The World's First Available Interactive Electric Toothbrush" now links to your smartphone, thanks to Proctor & Gamble. It not only brushes your teeth but gives mouth-care tips and news headlines. Russia has invaded Ukraine... you missed a spot... another winter storm is on the way... up and down stupid... and now a word from our sponsors... 

Oh sure, it does other things too, like record your brushing history and timing each brush... you know, the important stuff. As one industry observer noted, "It's like having a microwave you put in your mouth." (Yeah, he really said that.) Does this mean that if the coffee you are drinking is too cold, you set the toothbrush at 30 seconds, press "start" and hold tight to the sink. On the other hand, we could see some world records in gargling.

A competing manufacturer is betting on "sensors and analytics to improve your brushing with algorithms designed by five (yes 5) mathematicians to identify which quadrant of the mouth a user is brushing. We want to use data to reinvent the way people brush their teeth."

How have we lived so long without this?

Now move over, bidet... my guess is that lowly toilet paper will be augmented by the next App we see. We already have the cutest darn toilet paper ads on TV offering "a good wipe." You know the brand, the kind that all the bears in the woods use. Says some future industry mogul: "It's almost like having a Roto-Rooter in your back pocket." All of which begs the question: How many mathematicians will it take to improve "the wipe?"

*Art by my new friend, cartoonist and editor, Tim Peckham

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