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.
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.