A researcher in MIT’s Media Lab is working on a new toothpaste that changes flavors based on the current weather. The project takes a basic object -toothpaste- and gives it…

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Cinnamon Toothpaste Today? Must Be Hot Outside…

A researcher in MIT’s Media Lab is working on a new toothpaste that changes flavors based on the current weather. The project takes a basic object -toothpaste- and gives it dynamic properties, according to a WebDental article by Todd Welch.

Toothpaste Flavors Based on Weather

The “Tastes Like Rain” prototype dispenses one of three flavors using software that can determine today’s weather and compare it with the weather from the day before.

  • If it’s hotter outside than yesterday, you get the cinnamon flavor.
  • If it’s colder, it dispenses mint.
  • If there’s any precipitation, the toothpaste comes out with blue stripes.

Technology Behind the Toothpaste

The prototype uses a modified Mentadent dispenser, which involves a multi-chamber pump. A small, simple computer hooked up to the dispenser determines the forecast. It uses special software to calculate the difference and select the correct toothpaste flavor. It may eventually be simplified to run on a low-cell battery, but for now, researchers are still working on technical specifications, the article says.

People can quickly access local weather reports these days via cell phone apps or a quick Internet search, so some experts question the product’s potential selling power. However, the product’s creativity could spark future innovations of bestowing dynamic qualities upon other basic objects.

Innovation

The world of toothpaste is constantly inundated with the latest and the greatest. Nearly every tube shouts in large, glittering font: Tartar protection! Anti-cavity! Extreme whitening! Plaque dissolving! Mouthwash infusion! Advanced fluoride!

The key to maintaining healthy teeth is simply to find a toothpaste that works for you, even if it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles (or sparkly packaging with fake raindrops). Brushing your teeth twice daily, mixed with daily flossing and regular trips to the dentist for a checkups and cleanings, can help keep your teeth in top condition – regardless of the weather.

What is your favorite toothpaste? Would you try this new device?

4 Comments
  1. I am allergic to cinnamon, too. Everyone always sounds so surprised. But CINNAMON is in the top 10 allergies!! At the rate it’s being added to coffees, teas, desserts, gum, perfumes & frangrance items, home and personal care products, and almost every type of food imaginable, it will surely make the top 3 before long. It is the type of allergy where the more exposure you have, the more sensitive you get! In 10 years half the population of U.S. will be allergic.

    I’m tired of bringing home toothpaste, opening it, then having to throw it out because it contains cinnamon!

  2. The whole process just sounds more complicated than it’s worth to me!

    Joy – That’s interesting; are you allergic to cinnamon in general or just cinnamon toothpaste?
    Annie – Unfortunately we don’t really have a Trader Joe’s out here. We just got a new Sprouts, though, so I’m curious to see what they have.

  3. It sounds very interesting, but I would guess it takes a good amount of chemicals and unnatural ingredients to get those appearance changes! I’m currently using Trader Joe’s, which I really like and it’s a great price.

  4. I like the idea of changing up the flavors, that’s right up my alley. But unfortunately I am allergic to cinnamon toothpaste. Anybody else have that problem?

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