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Developed by Signal, a company better known to me for its toothpaste offerings, this Playbrush SMART product consists of a blue and white stand with a built-in rechargeable battery unit, short USB lead for use when charging the battery and a cartoon decorated, plastic envelope-type holder with a pair of wall sucker attachments. for holding a smartphone, plus what appears, at first glance, to be a standard manually operated toothbrush. As well as the required smartphone whether of the Android or iOS variety, you will need to download a Playbrush app from the appropriate store to gain the full benefit of this product's technology.
While the actual Playbrush might appear to be of the standard manual type, it is, in fact, a more technical aware device. First of all the Playbrush will need to be inserted into the blue and white stand that you have previously charged using the supplied micro-to-standard USB lead. The built-in battery, which resides in the removable white section of the stand, is of the lithium-ion type and comes with its own set of warning instructions that might concern some parents regarding its use and maintenance.
When inserting the brush into the stand, some care needs to be taken regarding its alignment. The brush head needs to be lined up with three arrow symbols on the stand. My aging and cataract affected eyes struggled initially to identify these arrow symbols but eventually I succeeded in the alignment process and could proceed with the use of this hygienic device.
The Playbrush kit supports Bluetooth as a means of linking between itself and the partnered smartphone. However the connection is not created using the standard method available via the smartpone's Setting option. Instead the Bluetooth connection with be automatically established when the app is first run. I found the Bluetooth was quickly established.
A one-off registration procedure will need to be carried out. You will need to provide a name, email address and password. In return you are meant to receive a 30-day free trial of the product's full feature set. The free trial can be extended by taking out a subscription that includes plans designated as Delivery, Stats, Rewards, Coach and Games. The latter option seems to be age related and offers choices that can include Fancy Football, Utoothidr, Matching Madness and Making Music. With some parental guidance, such as entering a year of birth, these games will need to be installed individually. The other features will encourage the child how to brush in all areas of the mouth (Coach), the times brushed once or twice (Stats) and allow for settings to be adjusted.
To save on battery power, the Playbrush will enter sleep mode after one minute of inactivity but can be easily be awoken by picking up the Playbrush. Providing feedback regarding the Playbrush's status are a variety of light indicators. A blinking red and green light implies recharging is necessary and this will change to a blinking red light during the actual charging process before changing to a constant green light when the unit is fully charged.
One slightly worrying incident occurred when I checked my emails after registering the product I had received an email from Playbrush asking me to confirm my registration. However when I attempted this I was informed that the task could only be completed by taking out a subscription. As I had opted for the 30-day free trial, I was a little bemused and decided to ignore the email message.
The Playbrush SMART is currently priced at £24.99 but don't forget the subscription issue plus the need to purchase replacement toothbrushes due to head deterioration when required.
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