The TV that looks like a mirror is named greatest innovation

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The Independent Online

For years, the television has been that grey box in the corner - except when it's on, of course. But now a panel of judges with a track record in picking out trends says flat screen televisions that look like mirrors when turned off are the future.

For years, the television has been that grey box in the corner - except when it's on, of course. But now a panel of judges with a track record in picking out trends says flat screen televisions that look like mirrors when turned off are the future.

According to the Good Housekeeping Institute (GHI), the Philips MiraVision television - a set that can be mounted flush against the wall - is the most innovative gadget launched in the past year, and may herald a revolution in the way we live.

Lindsay Nicholson, the editor of the magazine, Good Housekeeping, said: "We were looking for the little things that make a big difference, and the one that we agreed would have the most impact was the one which gets the TV away from being the focal point of the room, and instead makes it just another piece of furniture."

The MiraVision uses a polarised panel which lets through light from the display when it is on, but reflects light back when the backlight is off. However, the steep price tag might make some recoil: the MiraVision costs £1,800.

The seven-strong GHI panel looked at hundreds of suggestions from readers of the magazine, and from manufacturers hoping to win the cachet of the award. Previous winners have included camera phones, and the Dulux EasyCan, which has a screwtop lid rather than requiring a screwdriver to open it.

Other winners included Sky+, which can pause live TV and record two channels at once; the Easydim lightbulb, which has its own built-in dimmer; the BT Diverse X10 telephone, which can store numbers directly from a mobile phone SIM card; the Lakeland Supergrip, which uses two rubber straps to open jars - using less strength than other openers; and the Wilkinson Intuition razor, which has solid shaving cream that lathers when it touches wet skin which is "ideal for shaving your legs in the shower, because otherwise you're trying to shave while poised on one leg as you keep your foamed-up leg out of the jet of water," Nicholson explained.

But not all the gadgets were as impressive as the winning items. "There seem to be a lot of things which just clutter up all the kitchen drawers," said Nicholson. The judges awarded a booby prize to a Mussel Eater made of silver and gilt from R&O. At a cost of £1,655, its only purpose is to scoop mussels from their shells. "A quirky Christmas gift for a foodie who has everything?" the judges said.

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