Toothbrushing Visualization Game

Oral hygiene can be a tough sell on kids with short attention spans, and a lack of real understanding of the technique of good toothbrushing can mean poor results. Tackling those two problems, Hao-hua Chu and colleages at the National Taiwan University have developed a Wii-like setup, using a toothbrush fitted with sensors that allow a computer to determine how it's moving in space. The brush, in turn, controls a game which "uses sound and vision to encourage children to scrub colourful dirt from a set of virtual teeth shown on a computer screen. As the child cleans their own teeth, they see an instant impact on the virtual teeth." It's certainly a worthy endeavor, and results have been positive - kids playing the game brush twice as effectively as regular brushers. So, an open-and-shut case of design making a necessary task both more fun and more effectively done - at least, as long as the game doesn't lose the kids' interest after a week or two...
[via Gizmodo]

1 comment:

Jasper ( said...

Not to drag the work of these researchers down, but Philips Research demonstrated a similar concept back in 2002... For a pdf, see:

However, the version you posted does seem a little more playful and in addition aware of the position of the toothbrush, which is a nice extension I think.