Nightmarish WiFi toothbrush finally does some good after tech wizard hacks Doom onto it

Doom running in the tiny screen of an electric toothbrush.
(Image credit: Aaron Christophel)

I'm beginning to fall victim to a kind of paranoia. Is there anything that can't run Doom at this point? Is there anything that isn't running it as we speak? I'm beginning to detect the E1M1 music at the edge of my hearing as I go about my business, catching glimpses of cacodemons out the corner of my eye. Am I running Doom? Are you?

Your toothbrush is. Or, well, it could be, because the latest unlikely implement to play host to the granddaddy of every FPS on Earth is a Planck Mini toothbrush. Rinse and floss, slayer, until it is done.

Spotted by 404 Media, toothbrush-Doom comes courtesy of a wizard named Aaron Christophel, who hacked the WiFi-enabled brush using custom firmware before loading a special, custom version of Doom onto the thing. Ordinarily, the Planck Mini's WiFi capabilities are only there to enable the dental hygiene surveillance state: letting you collect reports and information about your kids' brushing habits even if you're not at home. Sounds borderline unhinged to me, but I'm not a parent or an agent of the Colgate Securitate.

Anyway, once the Planck was fully jailbroken, Christophel used a pair of GitHub projects to get Doom working on its dinky little screen. The first was a project from developer Jeroen Domburg that got Doom running on a Christmas tree bauble a while back, and the second was Simon Howard's miniwad, a teeny-tiny Doom version which did a lot of the work in getting the game shrunk down sufficiently to fit on the brush's 4MB of flash storage. Even still, Christophel had to shrink that version down to get the thing running.

Toothbrush hacks done, all that was left was to play Doom on the thing. It runs… actually very smoothly, and is controllable with a normal computer mouse, though the lack of an on-board speaker means you don't get to listen to the mintiest rendition of a shotgun blast you ever heard in your life.

It's great, frankly, and if we're doomed (heh) to progress inexorably down this road to a cyberpunk future where everything is feeding our personal data back to a shadowy imperium of San Francisco tech bros and you can murder people by refreshing their brains, then at least we get these absurd little projects to keep us entertained on the way there. You've gotta stay optimistic, after all, even in hell on Earth.

Joshua Wolens
News Writer

One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was much too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.