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USA, 1965 onwards

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The first kitchen computer came from Honeywell


The H316 was billed as the first under-$10,00016-bit machine from a major computer manufacturer. It was the smallest addition to the Honeywell "Series 16" line. The H316 was available in three versions: table-top, rack-mountable, and self-standing pedestal. This unit is the pedestal version and was also marketed by Neimann Marcus as "The Kitchen Computer," a somewhat improbable use! (3)

More specific info at: ed-thelen.org/comp-hist/h316.html


ICL produced the Electrolux’s fridge.

(1)The fridge that goes shopping for you

Innovations developed by ICL make Electrolux’s fridge high-tech

At ICL’s Future Focus centre in Reading today a fridge/freezer was unveiled that is cool in every sense of the word. In addition to allowing customers access to selected retailers, it enables them to send and receive email, watch television, pay bills and handle their personal banking. This development will bring retailers directly into customers’ kitchens.


ICL’s InteractiveRetailing team has devised several new ways in which the nation’s customers can shop. The latest, using web-based technology, links the nation to the outside world from the kitchen by building shopping and other services into a domestic appliance – in this case, a fridge/freezer from Electrolux, the world’s largest domestic appliance manufacturer. Electrolux’s Screenfridge consists of a touchscreen and barcode scanner built into the top door of the Electrolux Bluprint Fridge Freezer.

"Imagine this," says Adrian King, president of ICL’s retail systems division. "You’re in the kitchen, and notice that you are running low on eggs. You swipe the carton past the barcode scanner, which makes a note on its personal ‘shopping list’. You do this for all the items that you need. When you’re ready, you send the list to a nominated supermarket. The supermarket can then make up and deliver the order to your home. Alternatively, the next time you go to the store yourself, your supermarket will be able either to give you your list, sorted into aisle order, or to give you your shopping, packed for you in advance by a store assistant – whichever you prefer.

"In addition, you can use the Internet link in other ways. Other services that you might access include orders from other designated retailers, email, personal banking and other financial services. But life in the kitchen isn’t all about shopping and personal finance. You can watch TV on the screen too."

"It may all sound rather like something Q would design for James Bond, but it isn’t. This innovation is not only possible, but practical. ICL and Electrolux have worked hard to make it so."

ICL’s InteractiveRetailing team have developed new ways for retailers to build relationships with customers to deliver a faster, more personal shopping service. It means that customers can shop for ‘anything, anytime, anywhere’. Examples include workplace shopping over the Internet, interactive kiosk systems, electronic shopping lists and Web TV.

"Internet shopping is taking off, but until recently it was mostly the sale of books, CDs and other leisure or entertainment items," says Graham Drage, of Electrolux’s newly formed New Business Unit. "Also, it focussed on the PC or Web TV, which are not in the right place for people we call Kitchen Managers. This development brings ‘home shopping’ directly into the kitchen and thus into the hands of the Kitchen Manager – the person who is responsible for running the heart of the home and who is responsible for most weekly purchasing decisions. With ICL, we’ve shown it can be done."

"A fridge/freezer that will never allow you to run out of beer, chocolate cake or ice cream? How close to perfection does that sound to you?"



Most specs are not given free as yet by ICL

OS: MS Windows
Screen: LCD
Telecom mode (ISDN? Blue Tooth? - speed? Provider and/or ISP ?



1965 Honeywell introduced the first kitchen computer. Honeywell however was much too early to expect any revenue, though the marketing people might have thought otherwise. The machine is displayed as a showcase project (or whate later will be known as: study) of what Honeywell could do.
Though an attempt was made to sell the machine via a mail order catalogue it never made the market, the price of over 10.000 USD was quite high. It is unknown whether one single copy was sold at all.

1999 (Feb 10)  ICL - Electrolux makes a second attempt. This one has all the looks like it is marketable and an affordable machine because it mostly uses off the shelf technology. Also the consumer is now more "high tech" oriented than 30 years ago. Precise data are not available yet.





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