Gadgets: Does anyone need a ‘smart’ hairbrush?
“I’ve always thought that if there was one thing that I knew how to do by now, it was how to brush my hair,” said Diana Bruk in MarieClaire.com. But apparently not. French cosmetics giant L’Oréal and electronics company Withings just unveiled “the world’s very first smart brush,” an ingenious gadget that promises to teach users the right way to care for their locks. The Kérastase Hair Coach analyzes your hair-care habits—for example, it uses sensors to determine if you’re brushing too hard— dishing out advice, via an accompanying mobile app, on everything from handling frizziness to preventing split ends. “Welcome to the future!”
There’s a “surprising amount of technology” built right into the brush, said Andrew Liszewski in Gizmodo.com. A microphone listens to the sound of your hair being brushed for patterns in your technique, while an accelerometer and gyroscope count your brushstrokes. That data is sent to an app, which analyzes other factors, like temperature, humidity, and wind conditions, to assign an overall hair-quality score. “Naturally, using high tech to manage your split ends will cost you,” said Brett Molina in USA Today. The Kérastase Hair Coach will sell for around $200 when it launches later this year. But here’s the bigger question: Does the world really need a Wi-Fi-connected hairbrush?
Obviously not, said Kaitlyn Tiffany in The Verge.com. L’Oréal’s smart hairbrush is as dumb as any other totally unnecessary connected gadget, “but it’s also dumb in a different way.” Nearly all the smart gizmos marketed at women simply spit out a bunch of useless data that just require extra work to figure out, unless you’re already a beauty expert. Telling me my hair is unruly “isn’t helping any more than a mom who looks your prom dress up and down and says, ‘Hmm.’” Tech nol ogy for women should actually solve their problems, not add to them. “Where is the makeup robot that will just paint my face so I am beautiful and don’t have to think about it?”
“The really annoying thing is that these corporations want us to pay $200 for a product that will order us to buy more of their products,” said Tasha Robinson, also in TheVerge.com. That’s right, the hairbrush helpfully suggests which L’Oréal products will help improve your beauty regimen. “The idea of paying extra for a daily marketing experience is just maddening to me.” But “beauty junkies are no str angers to expensive accessories,” said Catey Hill in Market Watch.com. Cult favorites like the Mason Pearson boar-bristle hairbrush regularly sell for more than $200. It just goes to show, some people will pay anything to prevent a bad hair day.