'Internet family' moves into shop window

The 'family' will spend a week surrounded by Internet-connected gadgets under the gaze of shoppers and Web cams

On Monday, four people who auditioned to spend a week living behind the shop windows at Harrods as part of the 'LG Internet Family' event began their week observed by passers-by in Knightsbridge and Web-cam viewers on the Internet.

LG Electronics is running the event with the upmarket store to promote its Internet appliances, with the Big Brother-style Internet element intended to engage the public with the family behind the glass. The four were picked in a public vote from thousands who applied on www.lginternetfamily.co.uk.

The selected four are Sarah, 41, a counsellor from Peckham, south London, her 'husband' Carl, 40, a sales consultant, from Leicestershire and their 17-year-old 'daughter' Charlie, who is a student from Leicester, together with Steve, 18, a radio presenter from Milton Keynes.

They will spend their time in four 'room' sets, containing the latest in-home technology: the kitchen area contains most of the LG Internet appliances. The £6,000 Internet fridge is full of digital communication and entertainment features including a 15.1-inch touch-screen, a video and stills camera, handwriting recognition, nutritional data, food storage tracking, TV tuner, MP3 player, Internet radio, microphone and email. The kitchen also has an Internet washing machine and Internet microwave oven.

The key feature of the living room is a 60-inch plasma screen with a top-of-the-range microsystem and PC monitor. The leisure area has table football and exercise equipment cooled by an Internet air conditioner and the relaxation area is for being pampered by treatments from visiting stylists.

Each day various celebrities, including singer and now gardener Kim Wilde, snooker player Peter Ebdon and Helen from Big Brother will set them tasks. The public has until midday each day to vote on the www.lginternetfamily.co.uk site to add a twist to the day's tasks for the family.

"Our Internet range is leading the way in the UK and we are one of the first to introduce such appliances. Demonstration of the new technology is key so we chose the highest profile form of communication -- and that's a live family in Harrods," said John Lougher, LG Electronics sales and marketing director.

The Internet family will be on display from 20 May for five days during the shop's opening hours.

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