In the pipeline

What's new and maybe useful

Washable keyboard

Most computer keyboards end up smudged with fingerprints and coated with dust. Water can damage the circuitry, making them hard to clean.

But a new keyboard from iCEBOX may herald a new era of desktop hygiene. Its new entertainment center for the kitchen comes with a washable keyboard, which can be scrubbed with a sponge or left to soak in the sink.

The keyboard does not connect to the entertainment center, but communicates via infrared signals. The iCEBOX kitchen entertainment center includes a television, DVD player, and Internet terminal. The keyboard is not sold separately.

To learn more, go to

Suggested price: $800 for the countertop model, $3,000 for the flip-screen model

Saving time for taters

Is this potato hip, or what?

A Colorado farmer feared the dimpled tuber was losing its place in the American palate. His 21st-century solution: Express Bake PotatOH!

Designed for the consumer on the go, Farm Fresh Direct packages 10-ounce Russet potatoes in a microwave-safe shrink wrap.

The wrap distributes heat throughout the potato during the eight-minute cooking process and allows pressure to escape incrementally. (No need to puncture the spud.)

To learn more, e-mail the company at

Suggested price: 69-to-99 cents.

Kitchen convergence

Consumer-electronics devices are merging, with TVs, DVD players, and tools for tapping into the Internet all inside one box.

Kitchen appliances may be next. Whirlpool's Polara is the first oven with refrigeration capabilities. Users can place a meal in the oven and program the refrigeration process to kick in when the cooking stops. (The oven's refrigerator is far less efficient than regular models.)

To learn more:

Suggested price: $1,800.

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