Summer is in full swing, which likely means spending more time in the great outdoors, whether it’s a trip to a cottage, beach, campground, or simply relaxing in the backyard.
But that doesn’t mean you need to leave the gadgets behind to enjoy time in the sun. In fact, many high-tech toys could enhance your outdoor excursions, whether it’s the latest in barbecue gadgets, wireless speakers for the pool, or robotic lawnmowers that could do your chores for you.
The following is a look at a few hot summer-ready considerations.
•Let’s meat up.
Not everyone likes their food cooked the same way, so why not get some help from a Bluetooth-enabled meat thermometer, like the iGrill 2 ($100)? Simply stick the probe into whatever you’re barbecuing and the temperature of the meat is immediately displayed on the small tabletop unit’s LCD screen, as well as on an app for your iOS or Android device up to 150 feet away. The accompanying app also includes minimum and maximum temperature alarms, a timer, graphs, recipes and more.
•A cut above.
What could be better than sipping a cold one and watching a lawn mower do your work for you? The Husqvarna Automower 450X ($3,500) can cut grass over 1.25 acres before it needs to be recharged, and it automatically returns to its charging station, powers up and continues mowing again. Powered by GPS-assisted navigation, the weather-proof mower can handle lawns with a complicated shape, including steep slopes and obstacles, plus users can make adjustments using the settings on the unit or smartphone app. Other features include headlights, anti-theft alarm, and weather-proof body.
Imagine binge-watching your favorite TV shows while soaking in an outdoor hot tub. The extra-bright 65-inch SunBriteTV Signature Series TV (SB-6570HD; $7,700) features an all-weather exterior that protects internal components from rain, dirt and insects, along with a quad-fan airflow system that keeps the television cool and dry in temps ranging from 24 degrees below zero up to 122 degrees. This slender 1080p LED-backlit and anti-glare television has a protected media compartment for streaming devices like Chromecast, Roku Stick, Amazon Fire TV Stick or Apple TV, along with an included, detachable 20-watt speaker bar.
Monster’s SuperStar BackFloat ($150) is a floating wireless speaker to use in the pool, at the beach, in the bath, or even while river rafting. Available in black with neon blue or green highlights, this water- and shock-resistant speaker connects to your mobile device via Bluetooth, and delivers loud and clear sound with its stereo speakers pointing up while floating on its back. Chat hands-free while lying on your inflatable pool lounger, as the speaker turns into a speaker phone. The battery lasts up to seven hours between charges.
•Droning on and on.
If the $1,400 price tag is too steep for DJI’s new Phantom 4 quadcopter, perhaps you can afford the $550 Parrot Bebop Drone 2 instead. Take to the friendly skies with this easy-to-use drone that can capture crisp HD video and 14-megapixel pictures, and even connects to an app for a first-person aerial view while flying. The Freeflight app also lets you tap to takeoff and land, summon the drone home, and control its direction, or you can buy the optional Parrot Black Skycontroller ($290) accessory, which also extends the flying range to 11/4miles. The quadcopter’s 2,700-mAh battery delivers about 25 minutes of flight time.
Follow Marc Saltzman on Twitter: @marc_saltzman. Email him firstname.lastname@example.org.