Oral-B’s new connected toothbrush tapped crowd sourcing for ideas and it cost less than four grand

P&G’s oral care brand Oral-B has launched, what it’s claiming is, the world’s first connected toothbrush to help consumers improve their oral health. The brand sought inspiration for this new product by crowdsourcing ideas, asking a community of consumers what a connected electrical toothbrush should offer to change their lives for the better.

The result is a smartphone app that works with the Oral-B SmartSeries interactive electric toothbrush with Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, which will be available worldwide next month for €219 (AU$326). As payment, the creators of the three winning ideas will get €2500 (AU$3725) of prize money to share between them.

The crowdsourcing project started 18 months ago, when P&G engaged online community and ‘creative playground’ Eyeka to solicit the ideas from its 280,000-strong community of creators on what type of applications they could invent for a connected toothbrush. (See the contest brief here.) Eyaka says the outcome of this contest has not only helped Oral-B bring these innovations to market, but will fuel the brand’s innovation pipeline for the years to come.

In three weeks, 67 ideas were received from 28 countries. The analysis of these ideas unveiled opportunities to address experience such areas as gamification, content, learning and personalisation.

Stephen Squire, BFO marketing director at P&G says, “We knew time was critical and the company that could launch the first product would have a huge first mover advantage. The Eyeka community gave us a the head start needed and helped us anticipate some of the problems that we had to consider in the development of the product; in particular the importance of content, gamification, family interaction and socialisation.”

The app recognises the brush’s motor sound and automatically activates a timer for a dentist-recommended two-minute brushing session. It also keeps tracks of your brushing technique and progress through comprehensive stats and notifies users when it is time to change the brush head. The app also offers oral care tips as well as news and entertainment to make brushing your teeth more enjoyable

“Thanks to the richness of the ideas, we have successfully made interactivity the new vector of innovation for Oral-B. It opened thousands of opportunities that are now feeding our Initiative Master Plan,” says Squires.

Oral b connected toothbrush