Oral-B Hopes You Didn’t Use Your $230 Alexa-Enabled Toothbrush

With companies desperate to keep adding more and more seemingly random features to their products, Oral-B made the logical decision to add Alexa integration to its Oral-B Guide electric toothbrush. Taking it one step beyond just Bluetooth in the toothbrush part, the Guide’s charging base also acted as an Alexa-enabled smart speaker, finally adding the bathroom to the modern, all-connected smart home. Naturally Oral-B killed off the required Oral-B Connect smartphone app earlier this year, leaving Guide owners stranded in the wilderness without any directions. Some of the basics of this shutdown are covered in a recent Ars Technica article.

Amidst the outrage, it’s perhaps good to take a bit more of a nuanced view, as despite various claims, Oral-B did not brick the toothbrush. What owners of this originally USD$230 device are losing is the ability to set up the charging base as an Alexa smart speaker, while the toothbrush is effectively just an Oral-B Genius-series toothbrush with Bluetooth and associated Oral-B app. If you still want to have a waterproof smart speaker listening in while in the bathroom, you’ll have to look elsewhere, it seems. Meanwhile existing customers can contact Oral-B support for assistance, while the lucky few who still have the Connect app installed better hope it doesn’t disconnect, as reconnecting it to the smart speaker seems to be impossible, likely due to services shut down by Oral-B together with the old “oralbconnect.com” domain name.

We recently looked at a WiFi-enabled toothbrush as well, which just shows how far manufacturers of these devices are prepared to go, whether they intend to support it in any meaningful fashion or not.

31 thoughts on “Oral-B Hopes You Didn’t Use Your $230 Alexa-Enabled Toothbrush

    1. Cybertruck has some issues, but it’s still a very usable car (truck) surely.
      And Tesla fixes the fixable issues for free AFAIK.
      Not that someone that buys a truck should not be able himself to drill a hole through a alumium plate and fix it to the gas pedal, and a person with a driverslicense should be able to not put his finger in between a closing lid that is closing at a dampened speed. Although those issues should be addressed by Tesla no doubt. And they should not be there in production units obviously.

      But I remind you that for instance a Ford truck had that gas tank issue where trucks at minor bumps would be engulfed in fire and explode, which is also not that great from a professional car maker with decades of experience, and which also would not be a great buy. Not to mention all the horror of those exploding air-bags many car manufacturers had, one of which beheaded a kid sitting next to his freaking mother for starters..
      And it killed several drivers I”m told.

      Not that I would advise anybody to buy a cybertruck.
      And in the EU you could not even drive it in most of the cities, it’s too big and heavy and so they don’t even import it.

      1. FYI the reporters that did the ‘ford trucks explode’ story got their results by rigging the truck’s tanks with _explosives_.

        They lost the lawsuit, bigly.

        Not that Ford aren’t scumbags and haven’t been even bigger scum.
        The reason to never buy a newish F-150 has 3 valves per cylinder. Those engines are so bad they could be in Benzs.

        Somebody should mate a Ford 3-valve V8 with a Jatco CVT (or any DCT).
        Lucas electric system.
        Install aftermarket turbos in the valley, like some tarded BMW.
        What else does a mechanic’s nightmare need? Suggestions? Should definitely have something Italian, German and French.

        Still be better than a cybertruck…as a truck. Those are the ultimate 4 ton mall utility vehicles. Even old musky called it a ‘car’…he understands what he’s made.

      2. Would I pay the asking price for a Cybertruck? No.
        Would I even pay the manufacturing cost of everything that goes into one? Probably not.
        But if it continues to bomb so bad that no one who has one even wants to keep it and so they are on the used market for near scrap prices?

        That could be a fun toy….

  1. Why do people even need these fancy toothbrushes? Even the ones without Alexa. I’ve been using a regular ol non electric toothbrush for my entire life and never had any problems with my teeth, I doubt adding in bluetooth will change people’s teeth.

    1. Electric toothbrushes do a far better job of cleaning your teeth. Despite cleaning my teeth properly with a normal brush, I’ve had one repair job the dentist straight up told me I could have avoided if i was using an electric toothbrush (which they weren’t trying to sell me, they told me to go on Amazon). They just do a physically better job. Doubly so for the majority of the population who don’t clean them properly.

      Bluetooth is not necessary though. I believe the apps help some folks to remind them to brush, though that seems like a person problem not a toothbrush problem.

      1. The smart toothbrushes often include analysis of your brushing technique, such as angle, pressure, time spent brushing and location. According to my dentist it is useful for some people. I use a normal electric and make sure to hit all the spots twice.

  2. I just had norovirus, and while I was spending all that time in the bathroom, my main thought was “I wish someone was surveilling this in case I wanted to do some shopping”.

  3. Just to add or clarify:
    Amazon is not shutting down the Alexa service for this device.
    And it was Amazon who demanded that the device has an “microphone off” button for when when you don’t want the device listing for the wake-word. And for the few non-technical readers here: No, the device is not listing and sending data to Amazon all the time. It is only listening for the wake word all the time (unless you turn the microphones off) and only when that has been detected the device makes a sound, shows a blue light and then audio data is sent to Amazon.

    I can be paranoid as well but knowing the full picture is usually helpful.

  4. Wait till your use – or *non* use of the device is used as an excuse to raise your health insurance.
    Not brushing teeth frequently enough, therefore raise dental insurance premiums.

    Your refrigerator has “junk” food ?
    Higher risk of heart disease, raise your health insurance premiums.

    IoT is NOT a good thing !

    1. Unless you have a universal health care insurance in your country. Then you doesn’t need to worry about that. That is a reason for universal health care. Not just because you save money by paying it through taxes. Yes, that is basically Insurance 101 that more people to share the load of the insurance, less costly it is.

  5. i can’t imagine ever overcoming the entry hurdle to using alexa to track my grocery list but if i did i would absolutely want to be able to add to the grocery list by shouting from the shower. i definitely think of things i need to buy while i’m showering

  6. Was this article paid for by OralB?

    You lost a significant portion of the functionality you paid al ridiculous amount of money for – for no legitimate reason.

    And ‘contact support’? Seriously? Support’s going to tell you what this article does – apps gone sucker, we altered the deal, pray we don’t alter it further.

  7. It’s very hard to feel sorry for people who buy this IoT junk and then exactly what we know is going to happen happens…

    OH NOES they shut the server down / bricked the device / it got hacked / no more updates WHO COULD HAVE SEEN THAT COMING???

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