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HolidayBuyer's Guide
Culture

Net fridge comes in from the cold

Frigidaire and ICL unveil the Internet-connected fridge, featuring a computer screen and bar code scanner in the door.

Move over dusty little magnets and shopping lists: Here comes the Internet fridge.

Frigidaire has defrosted the Internet-connected fridge, which it developed using technology from ICL. It features a touch-screen monitor and bar code scanner in the door of the fridge.

The refrigerator allows customers--from their kitchens--to access selected online retailers, order, scan, and purchase goods, pay their bills, even watch television and send e-mail messages.

It works like this: You're about to open your See special report: 
When worlds collidelast can of green beans. You take the can and scan it via the Net fridge, which makes a note on your personal "shopping list." You add to the list as needed. When finished, you send the list to the supermarket, which, if you desire and if the store is equipped, collects the items and delivers them to you.

"It's the convergence of technology with the consumer lifestyle," an ICL spokesperson said.

Frigidaire will debut the refrigerator tomorrow at a food marketing trade show in New Orleans. The model to be shown is a double-door, stainless steel number that has room for the computer and the popular ice-maker in the door.

The concept appliance operates with a 233-MHz chip, Microsoft Windows 95, 32MB of memory and an external Ethernet connection. As it is a concept appliance, no price has yet been set, the ICL spokesperson said.