What the world needs now is a Web-enabled toothbrush. That part is clear to several oral-hygiene companies. What they can’t agree on is who was first to put teeth into the smartphone.
The giant Procter & Gamble Co. last week demonstrated what it calls the “World’s First Available Interactive Electric Toothbrush.” It links with a smartphone and records brushing habits, while an app gives mouth-care tips alongside news headlines.
A French startup bristles at that claim. Paris-based Kolibree also last week touted the “World’s First Connected Electric Toothbrush.” The 12-person company says it was first because it showed its device, which also records dental data via smartphone, in January.
Kolibree Chief Executive Thomas Serval last week trekked to the yearly Mobile World Congress here to show off his brush a few minutes’ walk from P&G’s “connected bathroom” display.
“To be honest, I wasn’t going to come here,” he says. “But I wanted to make sure no one could say they are ‘first’ when they are not.”