Four major Japanese electronics vendors have agreed on a new standard that will let appliances communicate with one another and with other connected devices in the home. The agreement between Toshiba, Mitsubishi, Sharp, and Sanyo creates a standard called iReady, which is short for "Internet ready" or "I am ready," depending on whom you ask. Some of the iReady applications in appliances are expected to include recipe downloads and online shopping and will let you make appliance settings and adjustments remotely from devices such as mobile phones. iReady products will be available this year, and the four companies have invited other companies to join the effort.

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