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Clarisonic Adds RFID to Its Skin-Cleansing System

The company's Smart Profile product uses HF passive tags and readers to automatically adjust the settings of the motorized handheld unit, and to alert a user when a brush head needs to be replaced.
By Claire Swedberg

The tags were customized by Smartrac and Identiv, and utilize NXP Semiconductors' Icode SLIX 1K chip. Some of the customization included specialized adhesive and lamination material to ensure that the tag remains attached to the brush when exposed to the hostile environment of water, as well as various skin-cleaning formulations and brush-sanitizing compounds.

The tag is encoded not only with its unique ID number, but also with data regarding the type of brush head to which that tag is mated. The motorized device uses this information to ascertain which speeds and pulse settings to make available to the user. The tag's memory also records the number of minutes that the brush has been used.

Clarisonic's Scott Straka
As the handle is turned off, the latest use event is written to the tag so that it can store that information for the next use. Once the brush reaches the end of its lifetime, based on the number of minutes it was used, the reader captures that data, prompting a light on the handheld device to be illuminated, thereby warning the user that the brush head needs to be replaced.

To date, Straka says, the company has received positive consumer feedback about the Smart Profile device. "Sales of RFID-enabled brushes will be monitored over 2015," he states, "to better understand brush head replacement rates toward the ultimate target of replacement every three months."

At this year's RFID Journal LIVE! conference and exhibition, being held on Apr. 15-17, in San Diego, Calif., Straka will describe how his company is using RFID technology. During the event, the Smart Profile product will be a contender for this year's RFID Journal Award for Best Use of RFID to Enhance a Product or Service (see Finalists Unveiled for Ninth Annual RFID Journal Awards).

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