Hanging out in the backyard with friends offers the opportunity for “real” social networking. But having fun means being able to be a part of the festivities as well as being the host. So here’s our Top 5 Tech gadgets to ensure your next backyard gathering is a guaranteed good time.
No speakers in your backyard? No problem. Put SuperTooth Disco to work, after you’ve given its up to 10 hours built-in battery a charge. With 28 watts of portable stereo power to place on a table or near the pool your tunes will be bumping. With no wires since Bluetooth pulls the music from any smartphone that pairs with it (a mini-jack lets a pedestrian MP3 player join in) theirs no need to bring your laptop outside. So get the music flowing, crank that humongous retro volume knob loud and go all Travolta at your next outdoor party.
SuperTooth Disco/$149.00 http://www.supertooth.net
This Ain’t Your Father’s Barbecue
Throw some meat on the barbie and forget about slaving over a grill. Why? Because you’ve also stuck the iGrill’s probe in the meat. Now you’ve got 200 feet of wireless freedom since your iPhone’s doing the monitoring through Bluetooth. No iPhone? No problem. A large LED on the iGrill’s front displays the temperature from afar while you rejoin the party.
The Unfriendly Skies
Keep an eye on your friends from above with this two-speed, remote controlled military attack chopper. Radio frequency gives the controller a 100-foot range, while the gyro-balanced stabilization assists your maneuvers. Practice on the included landing pad before “attacking” your friends from the sky with 6-way precision control.
Air Attack/$99.99 http://www.swann.com
It’s great to have video on your cell phone, but having everybody crowding around to look, not so much. Get that movie outside by plugging your iPod/iPhone into this docking video projector. Now you can have an up-to-120 inch LED-powered picture big enough for all to see — with built in speakers to boot.
Optoma Neo-i Video Projector and Speaker System/$449 http://www.optomausa.com
Blow It Up
Remember Drive-ins? The best part, besides the greasy food, was the big screen. But even if you have a portable projector you can take in the backyard, what do you do for a screen — use the side of the house? Like heck you do. You bring the Drive-in theater’s screen home, all 12-widescreen feet of it. A half hour of prep inflates the screen and keeps it rigid, using the included electric air compressor. Stake it to the ground, grab the popcorn and start the flick. Hey, you can even charge admission.
Airblown Inflatable Widescreen Deluxe Outdoor Movie Screen/$195.00 http://www.gemmyairblowninflatable.com
Check out Marshal’s reviews of The Coolest Stuff from the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show or lust after the new Bentley Continental with us.