How Oral B is using AI, data and smart mirrors to take the brand beyond oral health

The P&G-owned brand is testing a number of innovative prototypes beyond smart toothbrushes as it looks for ways to make its brand a bigger part of consumers’ lives.

Oral B AI mirror
Oral B is showing its smart mirror at Mobile World Congress

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, how many steps have I walked today and what is my risk of diabetes?

Perhaps not quite what you’d expect from a brand synonymous with toothbrushes, but Oral B believes it can play a role in people’s lives beyond oral health and is currently developing a number of prototypes to see how it might bring these into the home. The Procter & Gamble-owned brand is showcasing some of these prototypes at Mobile World Congress.

First up is a futuristic-looking smart mirror that can tell users their heart rate, blood pressure, step count and overall health, including whether they are at risk of gum disease and diabetes.

Next is a biometric health tracker that scans the user’s mouth and examines a sample of saliva. The purpose of this is to detect medical issues or diseases that can be prevented, and to track consistent problems such as bleeding gums, which it could prompt the person to seek help with.

“This is where we see the brand going beyond just oral health,” Giulia Antoniazzi, global associate brand manager at P&G, tells Marketing Week.

“We want to build a brand that doesn’t only stand for the best oral care but goes one step further. We know that [oral health] is the door to the rest of your body. How can we tell you, based on that, how you are doing with the rest of your health? This is our future vision.”

READ MORE: What’s needed, what’s possible, what if? The three questions P&G asks to drive innovation

It is, however, still very early days.

“We are exploring, we don’t know where this is going,” Antoniazzi says. “But we want people to know we are doing out best to try to give them more.”

What is definitely coming to market this year is Oral B’s new AI-powered electric toothbrush. Using sensors the brush is able to detect the way people move and show them via an app where they can do better or if they are brushing too hard, and then gives an overall score out of 100 at the end.

Oral B mobile app
Oral B’s new mobile app rates how well users are brushing their teeth

The artificial intelligence is also able to recommend other P&G products such as toothpaste, mouthwash and dental floss that it thinks would benefit the user, which they can then go on to buy within the app.

“This is our overall innovation strategy,” Antoniazzi says. “We try to think about the smartest but also what is easiest for people to use in terms of technology. Our vision always is to be more intelligent and become simpler.”