CES always has a few wacky gadgets that make you do a triple take, and this year Withings stepped up to the plate with their “Hair Coach” device, aka a connected hairbrush. Yes, you can now track your hair brushing, and get a full report on how dry/oily/split your hair is that day. No word on whether it also tracks your calories from brushing, however.
I wasn’t sure if this was something creepy because I am not terribly interested in beauty products, or if it was legitimately weird. Personally, I think this is completely insane, and takes the “Internet of Things” to an absurdist level. I do not need my hairbrush judging me. I pick my haircuts and hair styling products based on how quickly they complete the job of de-frizzing my hair. If it takes more than five minutes to do something to my hair, it’s not getting done.
Clearly I am not the target audience, so I polled some coworkers (and my mother). Here were the main responses:
- No, nope, no way. I get tracked enough as it is, let me brush my hair in peace.
- What? GTFO. This is stupid.
- This is creepy. No, actually it’s sort of cool. I would spend money on this if I had lots of money. It’s like gadgets for the rich and famous.
- Uh, no.
So in my entirely unscientific poll, three out of four people said no way, and the one who said she’d consider it (maybe) admitted she’s also very invested in her hair and likely the target demographic. But the one interested party also laughed and said no way when I mentioned the likely price tag of around $200, so we’ll move her back into the no column too.
I could see this being somewhat useful for high end salons, as they could use it while styling someone’s hair and then provide a customized hair care plan based on the report. But the average person probably doesn’t have hair care needs that are specialized enough to require a highly technical analysis of their brushing techniques. Some things can remain analog, and combing/brushing hair should be one of them!
Would you use a connected hairbrush? Let me know in the comments, and if we get enough discussion we’ll share it in a separate post!