Nokia’s $199 hairbrush listens to your hair with a microphone

Nokia subsidiary Withings has launched a new hairbrush that can ‘listen’ to your hair while you brush it, with a view to improving the health of your mop.

The Kérastase Hair Coach is the result of a partnership between Withings and hair care firms Kérastase and L’Oréal, and is being peddled as the “world’s first smart hairbrush”. Announced at CES 2017 in Las Vegas, the sensor-rammed brush promises to completely redefine how you brush your hair – a long overdue innovation, we can all agree, right?

Speaking at the announcement, Guive Balooch, Global VP of L’Oréal’s Technology Incubator, said: “Technology is transforming consumers’ daily beauty routines, and smart devices have huge potential to impact how we care for our hair and skin.”

He continued: “By using connected technologies to upgrade the hairbrush – something the average consumer users every day – tithings and Kérastase have reinvented what a person’s relationship with their hair can look like and are showing how connected devices can revolutionise the beauty industry.”

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So how does it work? Well there are four main technologies involved, the first of which is a built-in microphone that “listens to the sound of hair brushing”, supposedly in a bid to identify brushing patterns. Withings reckons this will provide insights into manageability, frizziness, dryness, split ends, and breakage.

Then there are three-axis load cells that measure the force applied to your hair and scalp when brushing. These are paired with an accelerometer and a gyroscope that further analyse your brushing patterns, as well as counting brush strokes. You’ll even get haptic feedback if you’re brushing too vigorously.

Finally, there are conductivity sensors that let the brush know whether it’s being used on wet or dry hair, which will allow for accurate hair measurements. The brush is, naturally, splash proof.

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Each time someone uses the smart brush they get rich data they never had access to, which can improve their overall hair care experience,” explains Cedric Hutchings, VP of Digital Health for Nokia. Nokia announced plans to acquire Withings back in April 2015, with the deal closing shortly afterwards in June. The acquisition was valued at an impressive 170 million euros, and saw former Withings CEO Cedric Hutchings move roles to become VP of Digital Health for Nokia.

The Kérastase Hair Coach will be available this autumn, and is expected to retail somewhere below $200 (£163).

Related: Withings Steel HR

Watch: CES 2017 – What to expect

What do you think of the Kérastase Hair Coach? Let us know in the comments.

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