12 brilliant gadgets to transform your backyard into a summer utopia

Summer might be more than a month off, but Memorial Day marks the start of the season, unofficially. That means you can start wearing white, fill up the pool, and stock up on s’more supplies. To help wring every drop of delight out of summer, we’ve rounded up some great gadgets. Check ‘em out.

Rachio IRO smart sprinkler ($249 – $299)

Rachio IRO smart sprinkler

There’s a drought on, and celebrities in California are being shamed on social media for their lush lawns. But everyone should be mindful of water use, and the Rachio smart sprinkler controller can reduce consumption by 30 percent by utilizing your Wi-Fi connection to check the weather and by adjusting watering frequency based on the season. This means you don’t have to worry about scheduling and can rely more heavily on nature to do the work for you. Read our review here.

Amazon Apple Store

Best Buy Home Depot

BakerStone Pizza Oven Box ($130)

BakerStone Pizza Oven Box

You’re going to be tied to your grill all summer anyway, why not get a device that also helps it make pizza? The Bakerstone Pizza Oven Box sits on top of your grill and makes pizza in about two to four minutes. That’s way faster than delivery (or DiGiorno).

Amazon Home Depot Ace

Lowe’s Walmart

Robomow RS630 smart lawnmower ($2,099)

Robomow RS630 smart lawnmower

Summer isn’t all backyard barbecues and lazing by the pool. It comes with a whole new set of chores, including lawnmowing. The Robomow is like a Roomba for your grass. Expensive, yes, but so much more satisfying to watch it tackle your lawn from the comfort of your hammock. Read our review here.


SwimWays Kelsyus floating cooler ($40)

SwimWays Kelsyus floating cooler

Those fancy resorts have swim-up bars, but this is the next best thing. OK, it can’t mix you up a margarita, but it can keep your beer cold and save you from having to leave the pool.

Amazon Newegg

Home Depot

Heininger portable fire pit ($122.50)

Heininger portable fire pit

Don’t live on the beach but still crave the Kumbaya vibes engendered by a night around the campfire? Grab yourself a fire pit and let the marshmallow toasting commence. This will prevent you dealing damage to your manicured lawn.

Amazon Walmart

Home Depot

Gemmy Airblown 12’ self-Inflating movie screen ($128)

Gemmy Airblown 12’ self-Inflating movie screen

If you’re sick of hearing your college buddy sing songs around the campfire, then you can distract everyone by turning on a movie on your inflatable projector screen. And your binge-watching of Luther will somehow feel much more productive if you’re doing it outdoors. If you’re really serious about making an outdoor theater, check out more tips here.

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Product Review

Kwikset Kevo Contemporary review

Tired of carrying around keys? Make keyless entry so easy that all you have to do is have your phone nearby to open the door. It’s a little pricey, but sleek lines and simple features make the Kwikset Kevo Contemporary a great choice for…
Smart Home

GHSP makes a (back)splash with its touchscreen concept kitchen

One of the coolest concept kitchens from CES 2019 came from GHSP. It created a backsplash entirely made of touchscreens. That means the control panel for your kitchen is accessible no matter where you are.
Smart Home

Thinking of buying an Instant Pot? Here's what you need to know

The Instant Pot is a powerful kitchen appliance that does everything from pressure cook to to slow cook to steam. Heck, you can even make yogurt in it. Here's all you need to know about the magic device.
Smart Home

The best sous vide machines cook your food perfectly, every single time

Want to make four-star meals from the comforts of your own kitchen? Here are the best sous vide machines available right now, whether you prefer simple immersion circulators or something more complex.
Smart Home

DS3 Clean water-free swatches could be the future of cleaning products

DS3 Clean swatches were on display at CES 2019. The small swatches come in several types, including shampoo and toilet cleaner. They're great for travel, but their real impact is in how such supplies will be shipped and stored.
Smart Home

Amazon patents a technology to help Alexa fight fake voice attacks

Amazon filed a patent this month for a new technology that looks like it would help its digital assistant Alexa fight fake voice attacks that could potentially fool Alexa's biometric security protocols.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Smart Home

Amazon Prime members number more than 100 million in the U.S., survey says

Consumer Intelligence Research Partners estimated there were 101 million U.S. Amazon Prime members as of December 31, 2018. Last April, CEO Jeff Bezos wrote there were more than 100 global million Prime members.
Smart Home

With focus on interoperability, is Nevo Butler a smarter home hub?

Universal Electronics is the latest company getting into the smart home market, announcing at CES 2019 that it intends to market the Nevo Butler, a new smart home hub with onboard A.I. and voice control technology.
Smart Home

The best air fryers deliver fried food with a fraction of the calories

What is this magical mechanism? It's an air fryer, and when used correctly, it can mimic the effects of frying while using just a little bit of oil. You still get that crispy, golden exterior and the fluffy center.
Emerging Tech

‘Tech vest’ prevents Amazon workers from colliding with robot co-workers

Amazon workers at its fulfillment centers are using "tech vests" to help protect them from collisions with their robot co-workers. The robots already have obstacle avoidance sensors, but the belt offers another layer of safety.
Smart Home

Legrand’s Smart Lighting touts security, interoperability, and simple setup

Near universal connectivity including Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThings, Nest, Ring, and the Internet of Things is the theme of Legrand's Smart Lighting Radiant collection of switches, dimmers, outlets, and plugs.
Smart Home

Walabot Home, a device aimed at keeping seniors safe, expands its capabilities

When you have to be away from your elderly family members, Walabot Home can serve as your surrogate. This device can detect when your loved one falls and will call for help — no wearables or user input required.
Smart Home

Allergies acting up? Thes best air purifiers on the market can offer relief

Indoor air is often more contaminated than the air outside, which can cause an array of health issues over time. Luckily, these air purifiers can easily rid your home or office of unwanted allergens and contaminants.
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