Takes new marketing direction.

Sharp launched a new range of Live Smart microwaves and gave a sneak peek of its latest microwave technology, the micro-wave drawer, at a media event in Sydney.

The Live Smart range comprises three microwave and three convection models that combine user-friendly features with the latter offering an easy cooking alternative to using a standard oven.

“There is a misconception in the Australian market that microwaves are used predominantly for defrosting and reheating,” Sharp head of consumer electronics, Hans de Jong said. “However, Sharp aims to redefine these parameters and bring microwaves to the forefront of healthy and smart living.”

Speaking to Appliance Retailer at the launch, de Jong (pictured below) said Sharp is taking a new marketing direction that will focus on educating consumers via social media on how the appliances can be used in different ways. “We have developed new recipes and videos for a healthy eating approach to suit those with a busy lifestyle.” Popular menu settings have been incorporated into the appliances with simple, one touch cooking options. Features include inverter technology for even heating, smart sensors and a large seven digit LED display.

Later this year Sharp will release the micro-wave drawer, which de Jong said is a first to market and the company’s first microwave for the building sector and kitchen installers.

“It will be the flagship product for this category with flexible installation options such as an island, below a wall oven or under the benchtop. It fits into the same space as other Sharp 24-inch microwaves but the larger 40L capacity and low profile with extra height allows for taller items and easy accessibility for stirring of dishes,” he said.

The oven, which was introduced the CES in January, opens automatically with the wave of the hand, and features auto-touch controls, a pop out LCD display, 11 settings, 900 watts and a stainless steel finish. Pricing was unavailable at AR went to press.

Sharp recently opened an R&D centre in China and the industry can expect a lot of new developments in the future. “The company is looking to doubling the number of TV units sold which will have an impact on the Australian audio/video market,” he said. In other retail news, Sharp’s air purifier range will be refreshed later this year.