Oral-B’s latest toothbrush – the iO – is a significant step forward in brushing technology. I got to sit down with the Dominik Langhammer who was the lead designer of the iO to learn how they’ve worked to change consumer brushing habits.
What’s interesting about the interview is that Daniel views the iO as a device that’s leading a new product category. It doesn’t always make sense to add sensors and make a product smart, but he’s worked on including features that add genuine value to your health.
To give you the highlights of the iO, it offers real-time feedback with daily, monthly and yearly tracking. The 3D teeth tracking happens via the Oral-B app so you can monitor the state of your entire mouth. There is a smart pressure sensor, which stops you from brushing too hard or too soft. The LED colour display, which is the first of its kind on a toothbrush. The magnetic charger, charges the brush in 3 hours and gives you 2 week battery and it’s a real two weeks, I took it traveling and on day 14, I had to recharge!
There are 7 smart modes – daily clean, sensitive, super sensitive, intense (similar to a pro or deep clean), whiten, gum care and tongue clean. For those with gum issues, you’ll appreciate the A.I. brushing recognition gum guard, if you have bleeding it will monitor your brushing and give you feedback on your brushing technique.
The iO performs like a dental hygienist, complete with daily coaching to help you achieve and maintain that fresh from the dentist feeling. I timed my trip to the dentist with the arrival with the iO and a few weeks later my teeth still feel as clean.
The Smart Pressure Sensor flashes red when you’re brushing too hard, white when you’re too soft, and maintains a green light when you reach the ideal level of pressure perfection. The sensor helps to train your technique, and the live brushing teaches you to slow down and really polish each tooth. It has made me slow down when I realize that I’m brushing too fast.
The average time that I brush my teeth has increased to about 3min, even though the brush give me a smiling face after 2, to slowly polish each tooth, like the live brushing coaches me to, takes just under 3min.
I took last years Genius X out for a spin, it also harnesses A.I, but where it divides the mouth into six zones. The iO goes one step further with granular mapping technology that will have you cleaning every surface of the tooth, top and sides.
The step forward that Oral-B has made with the iO is significant. The Genius X needs to charge over night and it is louder with way more present vibrations. Dont get me wrong your teeth still feel super clean, but the overall approach is way more refined just like in hand brushing experience.
What makes this upgrade worth while, is the iO’s frictionless drive system which is powered by magnets. It makes the brush much quieter than normal, and translates to gliding micro vibrations over the teeth for effective plaque removal and an altogether superior cleaning experience. If you use last years model, which was still packed with industry leading smarts, you’ll feel and hear the difference in just how smooth the style of motor is.
What the iO makes you realize when you do the live brushing but don’t actually pay attention to the coach, is that we all have an ingrained brushing bias. This means you might consistently skip over certain areas when you’re brushing. The A.I in the iO pinpoints not only specific mouth zones but 16 sub-zones too. It improves brushing and coaching, and can calculate the percentage of areas missed so you can focus on them next time to help keep gum disease at bay.
We’re spinning our gears working on a week in the life review of the iO, so be sure to leave a question if there is something specific you’d like to know!