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Hi-tech grooming innovations for 2017

A brush that 'listens' to hair and Dyson's electric toothbrush

Withings hair coach

Consumers were treated to plenty of innovations in the world of personal care last year, and 2017 promises more of the same.

The Dyson Supersonic hair dryer was the standout product of 2016, but new smart toothbrushes from Oral-B and Philips Sonicare also showed how companies are utilising developing technologies to offer consumers a more personalised and connected grooming experience.

Read on to find out what products could change the face of personal care in 2017, and beyond.

Kérastase Hair Coach powered by Withings

If you thought the humble hairbrush would stand the test of time, think again. This smart hairbrush certainly gets a tick for innovation, though some might consider it over-engineering a solution to a problem that doesn’t really exist.

In the head of the brush is a microphone that picks up the sound waves coming off the hair as the brush passes through it. The manufacturers claim it enables the brush to identify issues such as dryness and split ends.

The brush also contains an array of other sensors that allow it to track how hard and fast you’re brushing and how many strokes you’re making. This collected data is then fed through to a mobile phone app via Bluetooth or wi-fi.

The app will let you track your brushing habits, give you a ‘hair health score’ and provide tailored recommendations of hair care products from the Kérastase range.

The exact price of the Kérastase Hair Coach hasn’t been confirmed yet, but we understand it will cost under £160 when it’s released in a couple of months.

Could this be a case of the Internet of Things running away with itself? We’ll soon be getting our hands on the Withings Hair Coach to find out how useful this hairbrush really is, so keep an eye out for our first look later in the year.

Dyson hair brush

Following the successful launch of its Supersonic hair dryer, Dyson is continuing its push into the personal-care market with a brush that could be capable of drying and styling your locks at the same time.

Still firmly in the design phase, initial information suggests the Dyson hairbrush will contain a fan unit capable of blasting the hair with hot or cold air. The brush would also be able to draw excess fluid away from the hair and drain it away.

What’s more, it may have the capacity to store hair-care products so they can be spread evenly through your hair during the styling process.

Given the price of its Supersonic hair dryer, we’d be surprised if any follow up hair care product from Dyson came cheap. Still, at least this seems like it could offer a couple of useful benefits.

See how the Dyson Supersonic compares to other models by looking at our hair dryer reviews.

Kolibree Ara smart electric toothbrush Kolibree Ara electric toothbrush

The smart functionality of electric toothbrushes took a step up last year, with the launch of the Oral-B Genius 9000 and Philips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected.

Now, Kolibree, one of the pioneers of the smart electric toothbrush, has raised the bar again with the launch of the Ara.

Billed as the ‘first toothbrush with embedded artificial intelligence’, the Ara uses a magnetometer, accelerometer and a series of built-in sensors to collect data as you brush. Kolibree explains that, ‘Patented deep learning algorithms are embedded directly inside the toothbrush on a low-power processor. Raw data from the sensors runs through the processor, enabling the system to learn your habits and refine accuracy the more it’s used’.

Once the collected data is analysed within the toothbrush, tips on improving your brushing technique are fed through to the Kolibree app, or emailed to you directly.

The unique aspect of the Ara is that it can collect and store this data while offline. Then, whenever you get the time to turn on the app – because let’s be honest, connecting to a tooth brushing app is not always top of the list when getting ready for work – the data will sync automatically. This should allow you to avoid frustrating gaps in your brushing data and help you keep your oral hygiene goals on track.

The Ara is currently available for pre-order on the Kolibree website for around £110. See what it will be up against when it goes on general sale by checking out our run down of the best electric toothbrushes.

Dyson electric toothbrush

The Personal Care department at Dyson is hard at work, and a game-changing electric toothbrush is among their projects.

A patent application at the end of last year indicates the proposed Dyson electric toothbrush would have a water jet in the brush head, making it capable of inter-dental cleaning. This would be the first toothbrush to have this feature included.

It may also include a light sensor that can detect where the brush head is in relation to the teeth in order to automatically shoot water into the gaps between them. Quite how people will juggle the desire for pearly whites with the risk of turning up to work in toothpaste-stained clothing we’re not sure.

Dyson isn’t exactly renowned for its budget-friendly products, and we can imagine that with an innovative toothbrush capable of interdental irrigation they could well open up a new price bracket in the electric toothbrush market.

If you’d be happier with a budget brush, check out our list of the top five best cheap electric toothbrushes.

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