8 Marvelous Ways to Up­grade Your Sum­mer En­ter­tain­ing with Tech

Tech Prod­ucts That Will Make You the Best Host This Sum­mer

NOVO - - NEWS - by Stephanie Greenall

If you are any­thing like me you’ve spent the dark win­tery months clad in a parka that could rival the Stark Fam­ily’s Win­ter­fell col­lec­tion. I have fi­nally climbed out of hi­ber­na­tion in hopes of spend­ing qual­ity time with fam­ily and friends be­fore I dis­ap­pear back into my sea of du­vets. Tis the sea­son for back­yard bar­be­cues and s’mores around the bon­fire, but how can you up­grade your sum­mer­time fes­tiv­i­ties?

If you are any­thing like me you’ve spent the dark win­tery months clad in a parka that could rival the Stark Fam­ily’s Win­ter­fell col­lec­tion. I have fi­nally climbed out of hi­ber­na­tion in hopes of spend­ing qual­ity time with fam­ily and friends be­fore I dis­ap­pear back into my sea of du­vets. Tis the sea­son for back­yard bar­be­cues and s’mores around the bon­fire, but how can you up­grade your sum­mer­time fes­tiv­i­ties?

Check out how these tech gad­gets can im­prove your sum­mer get­to­geth­ers.

Husq­varna 450X Au­to­mower - Ro­botic Lawn Mower

For many, lawn care is an art, a way to demon­strate the power one wields over na­ture. I have seen first hand a sub­ur­ban siege where neigh­bours waged war over a sin­gle blade of grass. While some may stand in their yard and sur­vey their prop­erty like their very own pride lands, I pre­fer to wait un­til my yard be­gins to look a lit­tle un­ruly and my neigh­bour takes pity on my hag­gard lawn. For those of us who would rather en­joy a cocktail than sweat it out with a mower, there’s the Husq­varna 450X Au­to­mower ($3,499 US). With the help of a perime­ter wire, the mower will rec­og­nize the bound­aries of the lawn and your no-mow zones, like a shed, pond, or lawn gnome. Af­ter you’ve set the bot’s bor­der, the app -- yes, there’s an app for that -- can be used to pro­gram cut­ting height, an­gle of path, prox­im­ity to bound­ary wires, and set the mow­ing sched­ule. So, while this out­door Roomba is sav­ing you from an af­ter­noon of turf tor­ment, you can try out those mar­garita recipes for your next back­yard bar­be­cue.

Barte­sian the Ul­ti­mate Home Cocktail Ma­chine

The right li­ba­tion can liven up a party, but you don’t want to spend more time mix­ing than min­gling. There’s noth­ing worse than be­ing rel­e­gated to

the kitchen to shake up an­other tray of mar­ti­nis and miss the evening’s shenani­gans. If you still have your heart set on win­ning over your guests with a va­ri­ety of cock­tails, I sug­gest hir­ing a bar­tender or in­vest­ing in the Barte­sian ($299 US). The cap­sule­based cocktail ma­chine has been called the “Keurig of Cock­tails” and fea­tures four reser­voirs for your sta­ple liquors: vodka, rum, gin, and te­quila. The sin­gle serve cap­sules cur­rently come in six flavours and can be ad­justed to de­liver drinks from mock­tail to triple shot strength. With just the press of a but­ton, you (and your guests) can be en­joy­ing pre­mium cock­tails with­out the mud­dling or the shak­ing.

Sen­gled Boost Smart Bulb

It seems that our very sur­vival de­pends on the avail­abil­ity of WiFi. We can’t walk into a cof­fee shop or mall with­out in­quir­ing what the net­work pass­word is. It’s as if we are un­able to breathe un­less fully synced with the ma­trix. Your home is no dif­fer­ent. When your friends ar­rive, one of the first things they ask for is ac­cess to the net­work. Now if your house is any­thing like mine, it of­fers WiFi dead zones and the largest dead zone of all, the pa­tio! If you want to keep your guests from hud­dling around a weak sig­nal like cave­man around a fire, I sug­gest adding a Sen­gled Boost Bulb ($49 US) to your yard. This LED light bulb is a WiFi repeater that can ex­tend your sig­nal up to 100 feet. Just screw in the bulb--which fits any stan­dard light socket--and down­load the app to com­plete the setup. This de­vice should help quell the panic and rid you of your dreaded dead zones.

We­ber iGrill 2

If there is one thing I pride my­self on it’s my abil­ity to bar­be­cue a steak. I am not afraid to say that I have mas­tered the art of medium rare, but I do have fam­ily mem­bers who seem to cre­mate the meat rather than cook it. For those who need a hand har­ness­ing the heat, there’s the iGrill 2 ($99 US). The app-connected ther­mome­ter mon­i­tors food from be­gin­ning to end and no­ti­fies you once it has reached the per­fect tem­per­a­ture. Just pop the probe into your pro­tein, set the app by type of meat and de­sired cook­ing pref­er­ence, and you’re good to go. With a four-probe ca­pac­ity, you

can cook mul­ti­ple pieces of meat to per­fec­tion. All you have to worry about is get­ting those grill marks right! And if you feel in­clined to do so, there is also a so­cial me­dia el­e­ment to the app so you can show­case a photo of your per­fectly seared steak with the world.

Ul­ti­mate Ears Won­der­boom Speaker

What’s a party with­out music? If you want to keep the tunes pump­ing but don’t want to drag your HiFi sys­tem out­side, you’ll need a pow­er­ful por­ta­ble speaker, or two. The lat­est mem­ber of the Ul­ti­mate Ears col­lec­tion is the Won­der­boom ($99 US), and it looks like the fat­ter, short ver­sion of its pre­de­ces­sor the Boom 2. This Blue­tooth speaker weighs in at 15 ounces, has a wire­less range of 100 feet, and will last up to 10 hours when played at a moder­ate vol­ume. My favourite fea­ture? It’s water­proof and can be im­mersed in wa­ter up to 1 me­ter for up to 30 min­utes. While throw­ing your tech in the pool might make you a lit­tle ner­vous, you can al­ways toss it in the punch bowl as a party trick.

Ther­maCELL Cam­bridge Mos­quito Re­peller Lan­tern

If there is one thing that can com­pletely de­rail a per­fect sum­mer’s

evening, it’s those lit­tle blood­suck­ers! You can set up the per­fect night out­side, but the minute a swarm of mos­qui­toes smell blood, you’re chok­ing on clouds of DEET. I’ve tried every­thing from cit­ronella can­dles to mos­quito bracelets, and noth­ing has worked. The Cam­bridge Mos­quito Re­peller Lan­tern ($29 US) I was gifted due to my in­ces­sant whin­ing has helped my evenings out­side be­come a lot more man­age­able. The lan­tern re­pels mos­qui­toes, black flies, and other bit­ing in­sects by cre­at­ing a 15 X 15 foot bug-free zone. Pow­ered by four AA-bat­ter­ies (not in­cluded) the de­vice uses a Ther­maCELL re­fill­able re­pel­lent mat, which con­tains al­lethrin, a syn­thetic copy of a nat­u­ral re­pel­lent found in chrysan­the­mum plants. So if you are tired of scream­ing at the mos­qui­tos to leave you alone, I rec­om­mend try­ing out a Ther­maCELL lan­tern.

MiPow PLAYBULB Gar­den So­lar Light

With a lit­tle help from some so­lar lights, you can amp up the evening’s am­biance and pre­vent friends from trip­ping over your lawn gnomes or step­ping in your Golden Re­triever’s poop. If you re­ally want to take your out­door lighting to the next level, check out MiPow’s PLAYBULB Gar­den So­lar Light ($39 US). The colour­chang­ing LED light sup­ports five dif­fer­ent lighting ef­fects in­clud­ing

flash­ing, rain­bow, and can­dle­light. Pow­ered en­tirely by so­lar en­ergy, this wa­ter re­sis­tant gar­den ac­ces­sory can run up to 20 hours when fully charged. The ac­com­pa­ny­ing smart­phone app al­lows you to group mul­ti­ple lights to­gether and man­age their set­tings. Whether you place one on your ta­ble or a se­ries around the perime­ter of your lawn, this so­lar light will be the life of the party.

Dash­bon Flicks Pro­jec­tor

If you are look­ing for a way to amaze your friends -- and pos­si­bly an­noy your neigh­bors -- I sug­gest set­ting up your very own out­door theatre. With cheaper treats and the abil­ity to pause for bath­room breaks why not watch a film al fresco? When the sun fi­nally sets, grab a bunch of pil­lows and blan­kets, set up a screen (a sheet or an empty wall will do), plug in the pro­jec­tor, and start the show. If you are con­cerned about trip­ping over wires or is­sues with sound qual­ity check out Dash­bon’s Flicks Pro­jec­tor (140WH model $599 US or 280WH model $699 US). This all-in-one, Blue­tooth en­abled boom­box mar­ries a high-fi­delity au­dio sys­tem with a cut­ting edge 720p HD LED pro­jec­tor. With the abil­ity to stream from your smart­phone, ROKU, or Chrome­cast you will never be short of con­tent to watch. The Flicks Ul­tra Throw lens projects a 100-inch image at just over 8 feet away and has up to 8 hours of play­back time. Can you say film fest un­der the stars?

Ul­ti­mate Ears Won­der­boom Speaker

We­ber iGrill 2

Husq­varna 450X Au­to­mower - Ro­botic Lawn Mower

Barte­sian the Ul­ti­mate Home Cocktail Ma­chine

Sen­gled Boost Smart Bulb

Ul­ti­mate Ears Won­der­boom Speaker

Ther­maCELL Cam­bridge Mos­quito Re­peller Lan­tern

Dash­bon Flicks Pro­jec­tor

MiPow PLAYBULB Gar­den So­lar Light

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