Intel has once again handed out some serious cash to a connected self startup. In 2014 it was Nixie, the autonomous wearable drone, and this time the now $1 million prize was awarded to Grush, a smart toothbrush for kids, in the finale of the TBS reality showAmerica's Greatest Makers.
A smart toothbrush? Yep. Grush gamifies the chore of brushing your teeth via an accompanying smartphone app and is the work of inventor Yongjing Wang, pediatric dentist Dr. Anubha Sacheti and entrepreneur Ethan Schur.
"As a dentist, I have been committed to preventing tooth decay, a common chronic disease among children," said Dr. Sacheti. "As a mother, I wanted to help end the 'battle in the bathroom' over brushing. This dream is now a reality, as soon as Grush will be available in America."
The $59 smart toothbrush isn't exactly the first of its kind - Sonicare has a Bluetooth enabled toothbrush that works with an educational app and the $149 Kolibree smart toothbrush uses games to help direct kids to brush areas they might forget.
What's interesting is that with Nixie, Intel chose to back a truly ambitious project, from a very talented team, but one that would be years in the making. It left the Blocks smartwatch, which was closer to reality, with only the popular vote.
With Grush, the startup has already completed an Indiegogo campaign which originally promised to deliver the devices by the end of 2014 but was a year late. It is looking for distributors so we should see it in bricks and mortar stores in the US fairly soon. We're sure the money will help but Intel could not have made a safer bet here.
The 15 final teams in the competition received mentoring and $100,000 each to get to the prototype stage using Intel's Curie platform.
The America's Greatest Makers show, which counted Intel CEO Brian Krzanich amongst its judges, is returning to TBS in 2017. If you think you can do better than Grush and co, the deadline for teams of designers, engineers and inventors to apply is midnight on 19 August 2016.