The Brush

Multimodal perception, Sketching

The brush and the whole bathroom system to improve dental hygiene and experience

mobile, ux × 2013
  • 2 weeks for designing + 2 days for sketching
  • In team with: Den Tserkovnyi, Carina Palumbo, Derec Wu
  • My contribution: Brainstorming, research on existing technologies, interaction design; sketching
  • The Brush Concept Sketches (.pdf, 4.4 Mb)

The project was aimed to explore which modalities are best for different applications, when different stimuli will interfere and when, on the other hand, their combination will benefit the overall experience.

The main goal was to extend human capabilities while compensating for human limitations.

We picked the oral hygiene and design of a tool to extend human capabilities to see and be aware of teeth cleanliness by adding visual feedback on the brushing process. We believe that enabling users to actually visualize the level of dirtiness in their teeth can improve oral hygiene and the brushing experience.


In a nutshell, the design decisions can be shown in one picture. Design decisions

The proposed design is an electrical toothbrush with a dock station, which is partly based on the research proposed by Robinson et al. that the electric brush is more effective than the manual one. The electrical toothbrush contains of seven components.

  1. Built-in controller and sensors that checks cleanliness using ultraviolet light to check pressure difference between clean tooth surfaces and plaque, and sends sensed information to the dock station for storing and displaying via wireless connection.
  2. Built-in memory which stores temporary usage data if it cannot connect to the dock station.
  3. On/off button, which will activate the functionality of brushing and scanning user’s teeth.
  4. Quick-check button, which will only launch the teeth-scanning functionality without initiating brushing.
  5. Brush-status indicator which uses different colors of light to indicate users if the brush needs to be replaced.
  6. Vibration motor which vibrates while a user is cleaning his teeth.
  7. Flexible bristle which automatically change to appropriate angles with three degrees of freedom during brushing.

The dock station, in turn, contains of four main components.

  1. Built-in projector, which can be used to project extra information about users’ teeth to a wall (described in the next section).
  2. Built-in memory for storing users’ teeth information and historical records.
  3. On/off button which controls the projection functionality.
  4. Disinfection compartment which is used for disinfecting brushes.


This was also my final project for the sketching class, because I found it interesting to visualize some ideas we came up with. The result of the sketching class was the three A3 posters with initial object, the improvements and the usage.