Are you a Bad Santa when it comes to technology? Here are a few “evil” pranks you can pull on your loved ones … just in time for the holiday break. Or, if you’re feeling jolly, use tech to treat your family with something nice.
Naughty: Almost every home control system can be operated remotely from a smartphone. Your family will be running for the hills when you flicker the lights while they’re home and you’re not.
Nice: Music can be soothing right before bed. A home control system can be set up to play relaxing music over the bedroom speakers softly right before bedtime … and turn it off automatically.
Naughty: Anything that plugs into an outlet can be put on a timer—let’s say, your kids’ TV. Limit their screen time during the holidays. They will sooooo hate you.
Nice: A movie button programmed into a remote control will make everyone’s life easier. Just one press activates all the appropriate equipment.
Naughty: Your teenage daughter’s boyfriend is over for a visit. Put together a playlist of your favorite “oldies” to blast through every speaker in the house.
Nice: Create a “romantic dinner” playlist for you and your spouse to enjoy when you have the house to yourself.
Naughty: Instead of having your doorbell emit a chime when pressed, have it play an inappropriate announcement—just for shock value.
Nice: Greet guests with a pathway of lights that illuminates as they walk toward your front door.
Naughty: Wake up your kids by having the lights in their bedrooms pop on automatically at a preset time. Follow up with a wake-up call over your home’s speaker system.
Nice: Gently ramp up the lights over the course of a few minutes. It will give their eyes time to adjust … Nah. We like the naughty plan better.
Visit the Electronic House Holiday Gift Guide.
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Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.