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This Toothbrushing App Was Reprogrammed to Be Less Addictive

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Getting kids to brush their teeth can be challenging. Philips Sonicare recently released an app-enabled toothbrush that not only does this, but also encourages them to brush better and for longer. Unfortunately, an early version of the app was so effective that it had the unintended side effect of keeping enthusiastic players awake past their bedtimes.

The new Philips Sonicare for Kids toothbrush connects to an app that rewards little ones for brushing each of the four quadrants of their mouth for up to two minutes. An adorable, computer-generated fluff ball called Sparkly is the star of the game, and when children brush their teeth they can see Sparkly brushing along with them. Brushing earns them points, which they can then use to customize and feed their Sparkly.

Boon Lai, VP of marketing for Philips Health and Wellness compared the app to Tamagotchi, the addictive digital pet from the '90s. Ninety-eight percent of parents said the app made it easier to get kids to brush better and longer versus using a toothbrush alone.

The downside: some young players just couldn't tear themselves away from Sparkly, even after they'd finish brushing. To address this, Philips reprogrammed the app so that Sparkly now collapses in exhaustion shortly after the brushing is compete.

Philips is now planning to develop an app-connected toothbrush designed for adults. Sounds like the perfect antidote to our Candy Crush addiction.

[h/t: Gizmodo]

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fun
Here's How to Turn an IKEA Box Into a Spaceship
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Since IKEA boxes are designed to contain entire furniture items, they could probably fit a small child once they’re emptied of any flat-packed component pieces. This means they have great potential as makeshift forts—or even as play spaceships, according to one of the Swedish furniture brand’s print ads, which was spotted by Design Taxi.

First highlighted by Ads of the World, the advertisement—which was created by Miami Ad School, New York—shows that IKEA is helping customers transform used boxes into build-it-yourself “SPÄCE SHIPS” for children. The company provides play kits, which come with both an instruction manual and cardboard "tools" for tiny builders to wield during the construction process.

As for the furniture boxes themselves, they're emblazoned with the words “You see a box, they see a spaceship." As if you won't be climbing into the completed product along with the kids …

Check out the ad below:

[h/t Design Taxi]

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Food
The Best Cupcake in All 50 States
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We’re going to sugarcoat it. Twelve years after the advent of the cupcake-only bakery (the California-launched chain Sprinkles is credited with opening the first in 2005), there are a lot of options. We rounded up 50 of the best decadent desserts across the country. So go out, have your (cup)cake—and eat it, too.

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