Intel, which is aggressively pushing into emerging growth areas like the Internet of things, last year announced it was teaming up with the creator of such reality TV shows as “Survivor” and “Shark Tank” to develop a television program in which teams compete to build the best connected device using the chip maker’s Curie technology.
This week, Intel, TBS officials and producer Mark Burnett—whose other shows include “The Voice” and “The Apprentice”—announced the winner of the inaugural season of “America’s Greatest Makers.” A three-person team led by a Boston-based pediatric dentist beat out 23 other teams with Grush, a connected, interactive digital toothbrush that uses virtual games to encourage children to learn how to best brush their teeth by making the experience more enjoyable.
At the same time, parents can digitally track the brushing habits of their kids to ensure they’re doing it correctly.
Anubha Sacheti, a dentist and mother in the Boston area, said in a statement: “As a dentist, I have been committed to preventing tooth decay, a common chronic disease among children. As a mother, I wanted to help end the ‘battle in the bathroom’ over brushing. This dream is now a reality, as soon as Grush will be available in America.”
Also on the team were entrepreneur Ethan Schur and inventor Yongiing Wang.
On the Grush Website, the company noted that the solution comes with the connected toothbrush that is used as a motion-sensing game controller. There are three Grush Games that can run on Google Android and Apple iOS devices and guide children through the brushing process, providing a score—or “Grush Factor”—on the quality of the brushing. That data is then sent to the cloud, where it is stored and that parents can access through a dashboard app to monitor their children’s brushing.
All the submissions that came into the show were pared down to 24 teams, and after those groups pitched their ideas, the field was further whittled down to 15. Over five weeks, those teams competed for a place in the finals, a $100,000 development grant and technology mentoring to help them bring their products to market. The final five teams competed in a one-hour finale, with the Grush team winning the $1 million prize.