On warm summer days, you probably enjoy spending time outside—um, right?
The sounds of the season (and the smells of the BBQ) may be calling your name, but charred meats alone don’t make the perfect party atmosphere. Instead, think about adding a few smart home gadgets to help you cook up the best summer gathering possible.
Of course, you could drag pricey speakers out to the pool or prop up your favorite flat-screen TV in the garden. However, gadgets and gear made for indoor play should really stay indoors. Otherwise, those burgers won’t be the only thing to get burned. There are many smart home gadgets that can not only inject some life into your party, but are also actually made for outdoor use.
Don’t rely on indoor equipment and your special potato salad to entertain the masses. Check out these six smart home gadgets for the best summer BBQ.
Backed by the MyChef operating system, the SmartGrill can speak and interact with grillers, asking questions to help users determine how and what they’re cooking. Once you pick a recipe from the database, the SmartGrill will ignite and heat it to the optimal temperature. From there, it will walk you through the entire process, with audio and visual alerts and mobile notifications. Available in 30-, 36- and 42-inch sizes, it can even learn preferences, keeping track of when you add or subtract time from prepared meals. You can even enter and share your own recipes with other SmartGrill users. And just in case you get too excited once the meats are ready, you can also use the app to shut off the grill remotely. If you still manage to forget, the app will do it for you, if it doesn’t hear from you after about 30 minutes.
MSRP: $6,000 and $9,500
For More Information: Lynx
MiPow PlayBulb Garden Outdoor Lighting
These outdoor fixtures are like a Philips hue system for your garden. The smart bulb can highlight flowers, shrubs and any other outdoor element. It can even deliver a dramatic flair to that space in the dark, by adding a bit of color into the equation. It works in conjunction with the PlayBulb X app for iOS and Android devices, so you can control color and lighting effects via a quick tap. Other features include bulb grouping, IP56 water protection, and a built-in light sensor for automatic use at night. Also worth noting is that these fixtures are solar powered, making each one just as green as all of those things in your garden.
For More Information: MiPow
Denon Heos 1 & Go Pack
The HEOS 1 is Denon’s latest wireless speaker option—and it’s ready to party alone or you can use two as a stereo pair. This bi-amped two-way system has a custom active EQ and crossover, a two-channel Class D amplifier, DSP optimization, dual-band WiFi, MaxxAudio by Waves sound technologies, and more. It can crank out music from any device via the HEOS app and it’s humidity-resistant for even your sweatiest party. Add in the optional $99 HEOS 1 Go Pack for Bluetooth when WiFi isn’t available, a rechargeable battery for up to 6 hours on the go, and a splashguard for poolside playtime.
For More Information: Denon
Forget soggy foods and warm beverages floating in a puddle of water. This device promises to keep everything cool for up to 24 hours, all via the power of the sun. Just charge up the solar panels on top of the cooler, stuff the 38-quart space with your favorite snacks and beverages, and enjoy! It boasts 42 degrees of frosty goodness, but can even go as low as zero, if you have the power available. Just don’t drain the battery too much. If you’ve got the juice, it can even charge your smartphone and other electronic goodies.
MSRP: $950 (pre-order price)
For More Information: Solar Cooler
There’s nothing quite like grilling—or like cleaning up from grilling. Forget those floor-cleaning robots. This gadget is willing to take a funky ride on that BBQ grill and actually clean it! Just push one button and watch Grillbot go. It also has a CPU chip, an LCD alarm and timer, and cleaning brushes that can pop off and go right into the dishwasher.
For More Information: Grillbot
Open Air Cinema System
This instant setup has everything you’d need for a backyard movie night. That includes a projector, a Blu-ray player and speakers, as well as an inflatable screen that can be deflated and stored when not in use. There’s even a gaming system, which is packaged with a PlayStation 4. Screens are available in sizes ranging from 9 to 20 feet, with options for 720p and 1080p HD. Currently, the company sells four different residential packages, designed to accommodate between 30 and 500 “close” friends.
MSRP: $2,399 to $5,199
For More Information: Open Air Cinema