Nordic-powered Bluetooth low energy Toothbrush Tail helps users monitor and improve quality of teeth brushing via partner iOS or Android app

32teeth’s Toothbrush Tail employs nRF52832 SoC to provide application’s demanding wireless connectivity and processing requirements

Nordic Semiconductor today announces that Shenzhen, China-based oral health technology company, 32teeth, has launched a smart toothbrush solution called the ‘Toothbrush Tail’. The Toothbrush Tail teaches users to correctly brush their teeth, employing Nordic’s nRF52832 System-on-Chip (SoC) to provide Bluetooth® low energy (previously known as Bluetooth Smart) wireless connectivity, while also meeting the application’s demanding performance requirements.

Manufactured from a food grade silicone gel material, the 20mm diameter Toothbrush Tail can be attached to the handle of almost any standard toothbrush, tracking the brushing action of the user via the integrated nine-axis gyroscope, accelerometer, and magnetometer sensor. The sensor records the user’s brush motion, speed, as well as toothbrush displacement and positioning, fully reflecting the teeth cleaning process.

The data is transmitted via Bluetooth low energy connectivity to Bluetooth 4.0 (or later) iOS or Android smartphones enabling consumers to use the partner 32teeth app to evaluate the effectiveness of their teeth cleaning against the industry-standard Bass toothbrushing method. The app provides suggestions on how to improve teeth cleaning, whether any teeth have been missed during brushing, and also the frequency and regularity of brushing, The app also provides an instructional video the user can view prior to using the Toothbrush Tail for the first time, to provide guidance on how to correctly clean teeth according to the Bass method. From the app, users can not only monitor their own teeth brushing ‘score’, but can also view the score of other members of their family, allowing parents to effectively supervise their children’s teeth brushing, for example whether the children cleaned their teeth seriously during both the morning and evening.

The Toothbrush Tail employs an 80mAh Li-ion battery, providing approximately 45 days of operation before requiring recharging, thanks in part to the ultra low power consumption of the nRF52832 SoC. The nRF52832 has been engineered to minimize power consumption with features such as the 2.4GHz radio’s 5.5mA peak RX/TX currents and a fully-automatic power management system that reduces power consumption by up to 80 percent compared with Nordic’s nRF51 Series SoCs. The result is a Bluetooth low energy solution which offers 90 CoreMark/mA, up to twice as power efficient as competing devices.

“For the Toothbrush Tail we required a Bluetooth low energy chip that was not only small and low power, but also had the built-in Flash memory capacity and the computing capacity for our application,” says Li Qiao, 32teeth’s Marketing Director. “The small package size of the Nordic nRF52832 allowed us to keep the Toothbrush Tail’s form factor more compact, while the power consumption was the best in the market and greatly improved stand-by time.

“The Toothbrush Tail also needs to store several months of teeth brushing data inside the chip, and the 512 kB built-in Flash memory of the nRF52832 easily met our requirements. Furthermore, the algorithm used to ‘read’ the user’s teeth brushing motion required a solution with a powerful computing capacity, and the ARM Cortex-M4F processor in the Nordic SoC provided a more powerful solution than anything else on the market.”

Nordic’s nRF52832 Bluetooth low energy SoC, a member of Nordic Semiconductor’s sixth generation of ultra low power (ULP) wireless connectivity solutions, combines a 64MHz, 32-bit ARM® Cortex® M4F processor with a 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio (fully compatible with Bluetooth 4.2, ANT™ and proprietary 2.4GHz RF software) featuring -96 dB RX sensitivity, with 512 kB Flash memory and 64 kB RAM. When launched, the SoC was the world’s highest performance single-chip Bluetooth low energy solution, delivering up to 60 percent more generic processing power, offering 10 times the Floating Point performance and twice the DSP performance compared to competing solutions.

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