LG launches Internet microwave

After launching an Internet refrigerator and washing machine in 2000, Seoul-based LG Electronics Inc. kicked off 2001 by unveiling a microwave oven that can be connected to the Internet.

The microwave includes a modem and LCD touch-screen monitor, and made its debut at the Houseware Show in Chicago earlier in January, the South Korean company said.

In addition to all the standard cooking features that you expect from a microwave oven, the device also offers Internet access. Busy cooks can use it to search for recipes, and also to download cooking related information, such as cooking time and microwave power level, for automatic cooking. This is similar to the company's Internet washing machine, which can access wash program information for specific fabrics and even download new program settings from an Internet database.

LG said it plans to add links to grocery stores to the browser software in the near future, so online shopping functions will also be available.

The microwave is the latest in a line of Internet-enabled white goods from LG. South Korea boasts the world's highest level of consumer broadband Internet access, and the company is taking advantage of this to test-market network-ready devices in Korea before markets for the products begin developing around the world. The company has not yet decided on launch plans for the product and could not confirm pricing.

LG Electronics, in Seoul, can be contacted at +82-2-3777-3944, or found online at http://www.lge.co.kr/.

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