How a toothbrush will change our lives – Stan de Ruiter

Just this week Phillips announced that they will launch a new toothbrush that is connected to your smartphone. Just when you thought you’re all up to date switching from manual to electric brushing. This toothbrush features the option to share your brushing information with your dentist. (Adformatie, 2016)


The idea of sharing your brushing info with a specialist is the result of an uprising meso trend called “smart home”, what’s basically a consumer level trend that your house and every household item in it, from your alarm clock to your pet, is getting connected. In an article research firm WARC published in 2015 they tell us about the increasing number of smart house’s. Consumers are obviously interested in this new technology, what makes it a so called meso trend. (Whiteside, 2015)


Except from the fact that you now know about the whereabouts of your cat 24 hours a day, there are some serious convenient applications for the smart home. For example, there’s a technology called IFTTT, what basically stands for If This Than That. So, imagine you’re at work. You and your wife are just pregnant of your sixth child. Because you accidentally took the babymilk to work, your wife decides to quick visit the local supermarket. Totally forgetting about the pan she left on the fire and little Jim who’s laying upstairs inside his cradle.

With the house of the future a warmth sensor will detect the rising temperature in the kitchen. The system is smart enough to interfere and automatically shuts down the furnace. Trough a GPS detector the system locates your whereabouts. Immediately locks down the door to the nursery. If This Than That.


“The possibilities are endless”, so says Pieter Nota, CEO Personal Health Businesses at Phillips, in an article Aformatie NL published about Phillips next generation of smart household applications. Reason enough for all the big companies to take part in this entrepreneur battle.


But where is this need for smart(er) homes coming from? Probably you heard of “this thing” called The Internet of Things or IoT. Well, “this thing” is pretty big. The Internet of Things is actually a mega trend that is going on right now. It’s the machine behind mesotrends trends like smart home’s and microtrends like the connected toothbrush. More and more devices are getting connected to the internet. Which make it possible to reach out to a enormous pile of data. (Das, 2016) says in an article he wrote that it is now possible to really personalize marketing because of the Internet of Things.


Marco Annunziata, chief economist at General Electric, tells us about the impact the internet of things will have on the industrial sector as well. The world around us will be innovated like never before (Annunziata, 2013). For his full lecture at TED look at the link description below.


Sure, the smart home is one of the many great applications of the Internet of Things, but if you look at the bigger picture the smart home is just a needle in a haystack. Innovations are made every day, but how the Internet of Things will determine our future we can only imagine. Do you want to live in a world where everthing in it is connected, and machines are making decisions for you?


Adformatie. (2016, 1 september). Philips lanceert ‘connected tandenborstel’. Retrieved from


Annunziata, M. (2013, oktober). Welcome to the age of the industrial internet [Video].Retrieved from


Das, S. (2016, januari). Personalise through the internet of things.Retrieved from


Whiteside, S. (2015, januari). Smarter homes, cars and marketing: Insights from CES 2015. Retrieved from


5 thoughts on “How a toothbrush will change our lives – Stan de Ruiter

  1. Great topic, very relevant for CMD. Because it a great we have the technology, but how do you make sure the consumers want and are able to use them? You explanation of the pyramid sounds fine, I do miss the answer to the question where this trend is in the life cycle. Also you need to look into the APA-style referal system. You are not using it correctly yet. See I like you question at the end and am curious to read the responses to that question.


  2. -Peter Engelshove-

    I definitely don’t want to live in a world where devices will make decisions for us. Although I don’t mind that devices are connected to each other. An example which I could have a big problem with, is the self-driving car. You won’t have any control over your car. It can make decisions for you, while your own decision could have been different than the decision of the self-driving car. Besides there are some more disadvantages of cars being such independent. Research shows that some self-driving cars (but this could be other devices as well) are easily to hack (Declercq, 2016). The hackers were able to control the radio, the wipers and could even shut down the engine of the car.

    On the other side, devices that will make decisions for you have some advantages.
    This is also called ‘Anticipatory Design’. “You can see it as design that’s one step ahead of you” (Van bodegraven, 2016). It reduces the amount of decisions that people will have to make. According to Van bodegraven, User Experience specialist, people are making 35.000 decisions a day. So it would certainly help if devices would take over some of the decisions people have to make. But because I would like to be in control, I prefer to make the final decision always on my own.

    Declercq. (2016). Hacken van zelfrijdende auto’s: een reëel risico?. Retrieved 15 September, 2016, from

    Van bodegraven, J. (2016). The Power and Risks of Anticipatory Design. Retrieved 15 September, 2016, from


  3. I have to say , that it’s a very interesting article.
    I get scared of the thought that this maybe is going to be our future. Because of course it’s very handy when your house is almost on fire, but the thought of that your house is thinking for you.. I don’t know, but I certainly don’t like it.

    Like you said: “The smart home is one of the many great applications of the Internet of Things, but if you look at the bigger picture the smart home is just a needle in a haystack.” If everything electronic is thinking for the human, are the brains of the humans going to shrimp then? Are the humans getting lazy? What are the consequences for the humans?

    What will happens when there is a power outage? It’s already a disaster nowadays, because people can’t live without electricity anymore. But if the internet of things will became our future, how will people react when the power is out?

    So the answer on your question: “Do you want to live in a world where everything in it is connected, and machines are making decisions for you?” No, I certainly don’t want to live in a world like that.

    Lara Uittenhout


  4. Do you want to live in a world where everything in it is connected, and machines are making decisions for you?

    This is a very intriguing question and really makes you think about things. I can see from the other responses that they answer no. And this is an obvious first response. But to be honest I think it will benefit out lives a lot in the future. It’s very easy to think about a lot of reasons why you wouldn’t want machines ‘taking over everything’, because it sounds like they have more power than us. I immediately see scenes from I, Robot in my head. It’s not uncommon to immediately look think of the worst scenario. There are a lot of movies like the Terminator, Star Trek and Transformers which are perfect examples where robots/machines are portrayed as evil creatures.

    There are two things that make us say no to the question if we want everything to be connected and machines making decisions for us. The first is that it’s un unfamiliar thing. So we can’t know the actual benefits from it yet. It’s like when the first mobile phone was announced and everyone declared it ridiculous. Snarky tech journalist would make fun of it in their articles. Take a look at the Associated Press report that ran in newspapers.

    “Dick Tracy may have pushed it. A television set in a wrist watch, for heaven’s sake. But that telephone in the secret agent’s heel is almost here—if you’re the Jolly Green Giant, have a jolly green bank account and can wait until 1976.

    That’s when Motorola, Inc., hopes to come out with its portable phone, a little under eight inches long and weighing less than three pounds, yours for a basic charge of $60 to $100 per month, plus tolls.
    Carry it to the beach, the supermarket, the yacht, the fox hunt, the golf course, the hideaway where you went to get away from it all.”

    It’s a perfect example of skepticism regarding a new technological upgrade. The second reason we don’t want machines to control us is because there is this fear for robots. For almost a century, in fact, pop culture has bombarded us with fearful stories about machines usurping their masters. So this fear doesn’t come from nowhere. But what actually fuels this dislike against anything that is smarter than us? “Robots are just a bunch of metal and silicon,” says Prof Dautenhahn. “They have no agenda – this is what’s different from the movies. They have no hideous plan. You should not be scared of robots. If you are scared, then you are scared of the people building them.” Maybe we’re scared of robots because we’re scared of human beings…


    Hudson, A. (2015). Why are humans scared of robots?. Retrieved on Tuesday the 27th of september from:

    Oremus, W. (2013). Forty Years Ago Today, Snarky Tech Journalists Made Fun of the First Cellphone. Retrieved on Tuesday the 27th of september from:


  5. The smart home it sounds amazing but also pretty scary. Privacy is a thing of the past when you browse the Internet. You will have ads tracking you and following you around while browsing the Internet. Facebook knows where your interest lay and Marketing agencies use this data to reach their target group whit greater precision.

    For many people that aren’t really a problem it may even be convenient as you will only be advertised whit things that fall in you interest. Whit these smart homes our lives will be even more convenient, it will improve our safety. But humans will lose the option to make decisions of their own if everything is just given to us.

    Do you want to live in a world where everything in it is connected, and machines are making decisions for you?

    The answer is both yes and no. I think its amazing that we get more connected but if you take away or abilities to chose we will become more and more reliant on machines to the point that we cannot be disconnected. Sure humans make mistakes all the time and if computers make our decisions there will be les mistakes. But I think its fine for humans to struggle better even. Because it makes us what we are.

    The rise of the connected machines. (2015). Retrieved September 28, 2016, from


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