Review: Kolibree’s Ara Artificial Intelligent Toothbrush Is OK

The world we live in today is becoming ever reliant on artificial intelligence. Now, whether or not that turns out to be a bad thing in the future is something we’ll have to talk about another time. For now, we’re going to be talking about the Ara smart toothbrush from Kolibree.

Chances are, you’ve never heard of Kolibree, and that’s fine because the company is not a well-known name in the toothbrush world. However, it’s hoping to leave a mark with Ara, the first toothbrush with embedded artificial intelligence, or so Kolibree says.

We should point out that creating smart toothbrushes isn’t new to Kolibree, but Ara is a different beast entirely because it can tell where you’re brushing, and give recommendations on how to brush better.

For anyone who has looked into smart toothbrushes, it’s clear the Ara is nothing new, though it is cheaper when compared to some of its competitors.

Let’s talk about the design of the Ara

The first thing you’ll notice is how much the Ara looks like a regular electric toothbrush, but with a simple look and feel. There are many electric toothbrushes on the market that are over-designed and with too many buttons, but that’s not the case here.

The Ara only has a single on and off button. The same button is used for synchronizing the toothbrush with the Kolibree app, which we’ll talk about in a moment.

When used by itself, the Ara is no different from a traditional electric toothbrush. It has a single setting that buzzes every 30 seconds to let you know it’s time to move to the next quadrant of your mouth.

After two minutes, the toothbrush performs a series of buzzes to let you know you’re done.

The app changes everything

Here’s the thing, the toothbrush itself isn’t that special, but it does come with Bluetooth functionality for connecting to your Apple iPhone, or your Android smartphone. You’ll need to download the Kolibree app from your respective app stores, then follow the instructions to have your toothbrush connected.

Once everything is up and running, the toothbrush will gather information on your brushing habits and share them with the app. It can tell how long you’ve brushed your teeth for each session, and if you’re not brushing certain sections of your mouth properly.

The sensors make this possible, and for the most part, it’s quite accurate, but not perfect. Furthermore, if you brush properly and often, you’ll gain points via the app. It’s a good way to get children to brush regularly because they will likely want to garner a lot of points for their efforts.

A toothbrush that coaches

The ‘Coach’ section is pretty interesting because it gives the user a visual representation of their mouth while using the Ara. You see, Coach is designed to guide users during a session by telling them when to change positions among other things.

That’s not all because the Kolibree app comes with a game known as “Go Pirate.” It’s basically an endless runner game where the player must collect coins. If you want to move right, you must brush the right-side of your mouth, and brush the left-side if you need to move left.

I didn’t find this game nor the coaching sessions as fun, but chances are, they weren’t designed for me at all.

What if I don’t want to use the app?

You don’t have to, really. Folks can choose to use the app, use it sometimes, or use no time. For the brushers who are not interested in synchronizing on a regular basis, simply brush for a few days, then synchronize to collect the data from Ara.

As for battery life, well, it should last for up to two weeks from my testing. Additionally, the toothbrush doesn’t come with a protective cover, which is quite disappointing for something that costs $129.

Still, the brush head is replaceable, but we doubt the built-in battery is the same and I’m not sure how long it will last after daily use and a bi-weekly charge cycle.

In all seriousness, Ara is pretty smart, but outside of the Kolibree app, it’s no different from other smart toothbrushes on the market. It doesn’t feel different, and it doesn’t brush any different.

If you’re a person who believes you’re a good brusher, then I wouldn’t recommend the Ara. However, if you have children, then yes, it’s a good investment because the app is where the Ara truly comes into its own.

Visit the Kolibree shop to get your own artificial intelligent toothbrush.