Salton Launches Networked Product Line
Jan 8, 2004
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Small appliance maker Salton, Inc. has introduced its Beyond(TM) Connected Home product line, a group of networked home products.

Primarily focused in the kitchen, the Beyond Connected Products -- the Beyond iCEBOX CounterTop, Beyond Microwave, Beyond Bread Maker, Beyond Coffee Maker, and Beyond Home Hub -- will be available at retailers in the second quarter of this year. The 2004 Beyond iCEBOX FlipScreen is available now through 275 dealers nationwide.

"People today face increasingly demanding schedules and these new products are designed with that in mind," said Bob Lamson, managing director of Beyond. "They keep up with the pace of life so families can enjoy those few precious moments they get without worry."

A new version of Beyond's flagship kitchen entertainment centers, the iCEBOX CounterTop, is designed for the counter rather than mounting under kitchen cabinetry. The appliance can also be used in conjunction with the Home Hub, which can be used as a command center for the other Beyond appliances.

With broadband Internet access, television, a DVD and CD player, FM radio, and home video monitoring capabilities, the Microsoft CE .NET based iCEBOX -- both the new CounterTop and 2004 FlipScreen models -- are said to conveniently bring information to busy consumers. In addition, the device is now available with washable keyboard and remote.

The Beyond Microwave is said to accurately cook foods by swiping of the barcode off the product packaging. The microwave oven comes programmed with 4,000 barcode settings in memory and updates itself with thousands more when networked with the Home Hub or iCEBOX CounterTop. Users can also add their own UPCs and program cooking times.

The Beyond Bread Maker is also preprogrammed with hundreds of UPC codes from bread and cake mixes. New UPCs are automatically added when networked.

The Beyond Coffee Maker features a flexible 7-day-a-week programming. Each day of the week can be programmed with unique brew and shut-off times so coffee is ready right at the user's request. In fact, if a user forgets to add water for brewing the next day, the Home Hub or CounterTop iCEBOX are reportedly capable of reminding them.

Besides being a control center, the Beyond Home Hub doubles as a clock radio and CD and is applicable for bedrooms. The device can deliver personalized news, weather, stocks, and more. According to Salton, it is the first tool that can connect the bedroom to the rest of the home, adding convenience and control without having to run around the house.

"Contemporary families want life at home to be less complicated so they can focus on the people and things that really matter," noted Mr. Lamson. "Beyond products are making that possible."

Salton also says that in the near future, the Beyond products will be able to communicate with products of other manufacturers.

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