Tooth Technology: Philips smart Platinum Connected & sexy DiamondClean

Philips sonicare thumbnailsDental technology is huge these days, believe it or not. For proof, look no further than my mini review series on toothbrush technology. In this post we’re looking at two brushes in the Philips Sonicare line; the Philips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected and the Sonicare DiamondClean. (Read part one of our series on the Oral B Genius 8000 here.)

What is Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected?

The Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected is a smart toothbrush that connects via Bluetooth with your smartphone to track your brushing patterns, coverage and time spent cleaning your teeth. It works without the app as a simple electric toothbrush and it’s fully rechargeable too.

How to get set up

Setting up the toothbrush is quite simple. You’ll download the app then open it. As soon as you turn on your brush the app will find the toothbrush and connect instantly.

While the handle is not as slick and minimalist as the DiamondClean version (which you’ll read about soon), it’s still nice looking. It has several buttons on the front; a power button, a speed button, and a button that changes the different modes of cleaning.

What’s in the box?

Inside the box you’ll find the brush handle, two different brush heads with travel caps, a charging base, a bracket that fits over the charging base to hold toothbrush heads, and a travel case. Unlike some other models, such as the Sonicare DiamondClean, this case does not double as a charger.

You’ll need to allow 24 hours to fully charge the battery in the handle for the first time, so once you get it unboxed plug it in and leave it alone for a while.

Get brushing coaching
The Philips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected brush is designed to pair with the app to give you timed and illustrated instructions on your brushing technique and coverage. While you can use it without the app, what’s the point? If you’re spending this kind of money on a fancy brush, you’ll want to commit to using it in its technologically connected mode. If you’re not the kind of person who wants to whip out their phone every time they brush, skip ahead and read about the DiamondClean.

Adjusting different brushing modes
The toothbrush needs to be switched between its available modes while the brush is off. Small lights will illuminate the mode you’ve chosen. There is a Clean mode which is basic toothbrushing, White mode adds additional ‘massage’ and an additional 40 seconds to polish your visible front teeth. There’s also a Deep Clean mode which is said to provide “invigorating deep massage to deliver an exceptional clean”.

A pressure sensor built into the brush will let you know if you’re brushing too hard. It uses both a change in vibration and a slight change in sound to let you know if you’re brushing too hard. This feature can be disabled if you wish, but again, why would you?

App features
philips sonicare app toothbrush smartUsing the app is easy, but there’s not really an realtime feedback to speak of.  While the app will guide you through which areas of your mouth to scrub, it’s not actually tracking you or watching to see what you’re doing (like the Oral B Genius 8000). Here, it’s more like you’re getting coaching, or following along to a workout video; but there’s no one in the room with you to make sure you’re not eating cheetos.

(For a brush that IS watching you, read my review of the Oral B Genius 8000)

Pressure sensing for aggressive brushers
The brush has several smart features such as pressure sensing. If you brush too hard the toothbrush will let you know using a change in vibration and slight change in sound. The app will also display a warning message on screen. I found the brush very touchy when it came to motion and pressure at first, but once I followed the coaching and stopped grinding the brush into my teeth things improved.

Beeping Brush Pacer
The brush pacer setting allows you to turn on an indicator which will emit a small sound during the brushing cycle so that you’ll know when to move on to a different section of your mouth.

The brush pacer requires you to divide your mouth into six sections; three on top and three on the bottom. You’ll hear a beep after you’ve spent enough time on each section.

To turn this feature on or off, leave your brush in the charging base then press and hold the mode button until you hear one beep to indicate the brush pacer has been deactivated, or two to indicate it is ready to go.

Easy start for beginners
Brushing with a much stronger electronic toothbrush can be a little difficult for some to handle, there is the easy start feature. Easy start gently increases the power over the first 14 brushings to help you get used to using the toothbrush. You turn this feature on or off by putting the handle in the charger, one beep indicates it is deactivated.

Replacing the brush headsphilips sonicare app toothbrush smart platinum diamond
Philips recommends you replace the brush heads every three months. The app can be set to tell you when it’s time to do that, and you’ll earn points when you check in the brush’s status.

It’s worth pointing out the cost. Two replacement brush heads sell for about $35-$40 Canadian. That is of course in addition to what you might have paid for the brush handle itself.

Overall review – Philips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected

The brush was was to set up and looks sleek and modern.  It’s easy to operate on its own and in connected mode.

I feel like it would be easy to cheat with this brush; after all, it’s really just using the app as a guide or a coach, and there’s no accountability for cheating (but as my second grade teacher used to tell us we’d only be cheating ourselves here, right??), however the brush will track the length of your sessions and frequency.

The Philips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected costs $189 CAD. Get more info on it here.

Philips Sonicare DiamondClean electric toothbrush

philips sonicare app toothbrush smart platinum diamondThe Philips Sonicare DiamondClean is a gorgeous electric/rechargeable toothbrush, but unlike its Platinum cousin, it’s not smart and won’t connect to the app. It does have a timer function built in that will buzz you when it’s time to move from quadrant to quadrant of your mouth to ensure an even clean. It’s also got high tech induction charging.

The first thing I noticed is how appealing the overall package is. The brush actually won numerous product design awards back in 2012, so Philips has stuck with the sleek and modern design ever since.

The included travel case looks really cool and modern. The silver canvas casing hides a lime green interior which cradles the smooth white brush handle inside. The whole thing looks sleek and elegant.philips sonicare app toothbrush smart platinum diamond

The kit also comes with an induction charging glass. It’s a drinking glass that also doubles as a charger for the brush when you set it inside the cup. I couldn’t wait to try this out as this was blowing my mind. I’ve seen induction chargers before, but they’re usually ugly, plastic, and functional. This charger looked neat and pretty.

The charging stand has two pieces. There’s a sleek and shiny metal base which houses the actual charging unit, and then the glass that accompanies it. The glass sits on top of the base for stability and security plus power, and is removable for use as a drinking glass or rinsing cup when you’re not using it for power. You can of course keep the glass separate or not use it at all, as the diamond kit also contains a clear plastic stand for the toothbrush that will replace the glass on the charging base (see photo above).

The brush comes with that silver canvas travel case I mentioned and it also works as a charger plus it holds two brushes.

Overall review –  Philips Sonicare DiamondClean

This brush is really pretty, but if you’re looking for smarts, it’s not for you.  The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean, as I’ve taken to calling it, is designed primarily as a better looking, less utilitarian electric toothbrush.  When paired with its sleek recharging case it’s a great options for travelers too, since you can actually use the case as a power bank if you’re so inclined. This brush is perfect, however, for the person who doesn’t want to fuss with using their phone each time they brush their teeth, but still wants some level of smart functionality.

The Sonicare DiamondClean comes in black or white and will set you back about $199-229 CAD.

philips sonicare app toothbrush smart platinum diamond

Diamonds 2.0 invented?

microdiamonds
Scanning Electron Microscope image of microdiamonds made using the new technique. Courtesy: NOrth Caroline State University.

Researchers from North Carolina State University say they’ve found a new form of solid carbon, and that discovery has allowed them to make diamonds much easier.

 

The new form or “phase” of carbon is called Q-carbon; other forms for solid carbon include graphite (think lead pencils) and diamonds.winston diamond

The discovery allows diamond-like structures to be made  at room temperature and at ambient atmospheric pressure in air.

“We’ve now created a third solid phase of carbon,” says Jay Narayan, lead author of the study. “The only place it may be found in the natural world would be possibly in the core of some planets.”

Q-carbon is made by using a base like sapphire, glass or a plastic then layering on “amorphous carbon” – essentially carbon without a well-defined crystal structure. Lasers then heat and cool the carbon rapidly, and the result is a film of Q-carbon, which the researchers say is harder than diamond, which are already some  of the hardest known substances to humans.

So how would these micro-diamond-carbon structures be used? They could replace diamond on drills or cutting devices, for starters.

“We can create diamond nanoneedles or microneedles, nanodots, or large-area diamond films, with applications for drug delivery, industrial processes and for creating high-temperature switches and power electronics,” Narayan says. “These diamond objects have a single-crystalline structure, making them stronger than polycrystalline materials. And it is all done at room temperature and at ambient atmosphere – we’re basically using a laser like the ones used for laser eye surgery. So, not only does this allow us to develop new applications, but the process itself is relatively inexpensive.”

Could   Q-carbon become a more enduring symbol of love than diamonds? Not yet. Researchers have not been able to make the Q-carbon layer much thicker than a film.

“We can make Q-carbon films, and we’re learning its properties, but we are still in the early stages of understanding how to manipulate it,” Narayan says. “We know a lot about diamond, so we can make diamond nanodots. We don’t yet know how to make Q-carbon nanodots or microneedles. That’s something we’re working on.”

 

Gems From Legendary Mines

This article is from Christies Auction House.

“From a Golconda diamond to a Muzo emerald, learn more about the world’s most legendary mines where the finest and rarest examples of gems, saturated with centuries of history and romance, are sourced.

THE MUZO EMERALD

Emeralds from the mines of Colombia have always been the most desirable, and amongst those the Muzo mine is sought most highly. With fewer impurities compared to emeralds from other sources, emeralds from Muzo are famous for their saturated pure green hue, their size and their clarity. The Spanish conquistadores in the early 16th century discovered the existence of the legendary Muzo mine in the foothills of the Andes Mountains. Undeterred by the inhospitable mining climate and terrain, the Spanish were soon able to ensure a consistent flow of emeralds through the jungles of Colombia to Spain and Europe, with the most exceptional and beautiful going to royal European collections.

From the Legendary Muzo Mine
The extraordinary emerald weighing 9.27 carats is one of the rarest and highest quality gems to come from the legendary Muzo mines in recent years. This gem is highly transparent pure crystal, absolutely free of any form of enhancement. For an emerald of such a size, lacking any typical “garden like” emerald inclusion, coupled with its evenly saturated, slightly bluish-green colour, is a truly rare find in today’s market.

THE MUZO EMERALD

“Indeed there is no stone, the colour of which is more delightful to the eye for whereas the sight fixes itself with avidity upon the green grass and foliage of the trees, we have all the more pleasure in looking upon the emerald, there being no green in existence of a more intense colour than this” – Pliny

A KASHMIR SAPPHIRE

The term Kashmir has come to mean the most desirable and expensive of blue sapphires, and identifies both the place of origin and the colour of the stone. Kashmir sapphires come from the legendary mines in the
Zanskar range of the northwestern Himalayas. By 1887, the mine was exhausted and since then there has only been sporadic activity due to the harsh climatic conditions and political unrest. As a result Kashmir sapphires of top quality, especially those above 10 carats, are extremely difficult to find.

A KASHMIR SAPPHIRE

This unmounted cushion-shaped sapphire of 19.94 cts exhibits all the highly regarded qualities of Kashmir sapphires, the exceptional size, a richly saturated, homogenous velvety blue colour and most importantly,
no form of enhancement or treatment. It is truly a rare gem that will captivate connoisseurs from all over the world.

LEGENDS OF THE GOLCONDA

For the gem connoisseur, only one name has the power to instantly evoke the legend, history and value of diamonds: Golconda. The great diamonds of Golconda were mainly produced in the 16th century, including the Koh-I-Noor, now part of the Crown Jewels of England, the Agra, and the Hope, donated by Harry Winston to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington. The mines were depleted in the mid 18th century and large diamonds are seldom encountered today.

The rarest Golconda diamonds retain their original antique cuts, exhibiting the cutting styles common to earlier centuries. These older cuts emphasize the limpid transparency which makes Golconda diamonds so special. Today, it is extremely rare for a diamond to be considered worthy of the ‘Golconda’ attribution.

The Great Golconda
The 26.17 carat pear-shaped diamond suspended from a diamond briolette chain shows the typical old-cut style that enhances its spectacular degree of transparency rarely seen in stones from other mines. Combined with a perfect D colour and Internally Flawless clarity, the diamond most probably once adorned an amazing Indian parure, such as the ones prized by the great Maharajahs of India.

“No country but this [India] produces diamonds. Those which are brought to our part of the world are only the refuse, as it were, of the finer and larger stones. For the flower of the diamonds are all carried to the great Khan and other kings and princes of the region. In truth they possess all the treasures of the world.” – Marco Polo

 http://www.christies.com/features/gems-from-legendary-mines-1262-1.aspx