Later this month, Sharp Japan will begin shipping new graphics chips to manufacturers of white goods that should herald a new era of fridges, microwaves and more with their own colour LCD screens.

The blandly named LR35503 graphics controller chip crams all that's needed to drive a colour screen into a single package, greatly reducing the cost of adding colour screens to domestic devices.

Steam oven

Already, Sharp has bunged the chipset into one of its own products – a steam-powered oven that displays photos, recipes and cooking techniques on its front window.

Manufacturers hoping to add such functionality to their white goods will need to make do with a maximum QVGA display size of 320 x 240 pixels, which was where Sharp found the sweet spot between cost and performance.

Best of all, the chipset can handle video at up to 30fps, so watching the morning news on the back of the toaster could very well become reality before long.