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Coming soon: the iPod washing machine

LG patent for MP3 player in kitchen appliance

That's right - during the past two months, only a suggested retail price of $3,999 (£2,000) has separated you from owning an LG HDTV Refrigerator, an upright unit with side by-side-doors and the capacity of 26 cubic feet. The larger, right-hand door features a 15-in. high-definition LCD screen and FM radio with remote control, a cable connection and a DVD connection.

And on the smaller left-hand door, just above the ice/water dispenser, is an additional 4-in. screen that can display weather forecasts personalised for the owner's location, a recipe bank and various organisational tools and reminders. It will also display family pictures downloaded via a USB port, replacing the hard copy you had probably previously stuck there with low-tech refrigerator magnets.

There's no mention of MP3 functionality -- although there is a vegetable crisper.

"I understand, anecdotally, that TVs are becoming more popular in the kitchen," admitted Scherf, "So it is not too outlandish an idea to install a TV in a refrigerator, since it would save counter space or avoid the trouble of installing a drop-down screen from a cabinet. Small apartments may also be a factor. But I don't foresee a mass market for such a thing."

"They're selling very well at Best Buy, Home Depot and similar places," said Taylor.

At least they haven't added cameras yet -- late-night refrigerator raids would never be the same. But in the meantime, Dair, for one, isn't laughing.

"The consumer electronics industry often pushes technology out there simply because they can do it, and if they are persistent, some of it will catch on, although it may not be a hit from Day 1," he said.

www.computerworld.com


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