The big game's coming up and, as usual, no one has plans. Do you take one for the team and host, even if it gets in the way of watching the game? Consider getting some help--by adding smarts to your home. Connected devices are getting pretty good at taking care of your guests so you can turn your attention back to the game.
1. Let guests in without losing your seat
Hosting doesn't have to get in the way of watching the game. With smart entry systems like the August Smart Lock, you can unlock your front door when someone arrives without getting up. Use an app on your phone to let guests in over wifi and bluetooth or assign access to the usual suspects. A geofence can auto-lock the door behind newcomers, so you don't invite any unwanted visitors. Installing a smart lock doesn't take a pro, either. Just attach it to an existing deadbolt using the tools you probably have laying around the garage.
2. Turn any TV into a connected TV
Now that CBS Sports lets fans stream the big game for free, it's a perfect time to look into cordcutting devices. Check out this breakdown of which option is best for your needs. Whatever option you go with, you'll be able to stream the big game onto the big screen, and get bonus access to several regular season and playoff games.
3. Get ready for gametime with automated lighting changes
Make sure there's no doubt who the home team is. Install a few connected light bulbs and use an IFTTT recipe to change lighting for opening kickoff. To get the whole house involved, you can even flash your Hue lights when someone scores. And during halftime, you can take a break and have the lights remind you when the game is back on.
4. Play victory songs when the home team scores
The celebration doesn't end with light shows. Program your Amazon Echo or bluetooth speakers to play your team's cheers and chants whenever the home team scores. It's like having an in-house cheerleader with some serious smarts.
5. Stay in control with a crowd-proof remote
This year, no one's butt is going to change the channel right when the QB throws up that last-ditch hail mary. Keep the controls close with new remote hubs that connect your phone to the entertainment system. The infrared technology doesn't need line-of-sight connect, so no one gets between you and the game. Get hooked up with the Logitech Harmony Home Control or, if you have an Android phone with IR capabilities, download the Easy Universal TV Remote app.
6. Rescue your phone or remote from the couch cushions
Tile's bluetooth trackers are perfect for keeping you from losing your devices. Attach one to your phone or remote and trigger the sound alert if it ever gets misplaced. It's a particularly handy option with so many people around.
7. Keep one eye on the oven and one on the game
The GE Profile Built-In Electric Double Convection Wall Oven is one of a new generation of ovens that you can set--and forget--from the couch. Throw your chili or dip in the oven before the game starts. An app lets you start the cooking process from your phone and tweak temperature settings so the food's ready when a commercial break or half time draws near.
8. Let the machines mix the drinks
With smart bartenders, mixing the perfect drink is as easy as pressing a button. The Somabar is a party trick people will want to play with themselves, conveniently sparing you the trouble of mixing drinks yourself. Anyone can use it by choosing from an online library of cocktails that make use of the ingredients you already have. Everything is tagged electronically and onboard sensors make sure to strike the perfect balance. It makes for drinks so perfect you might want to suggest your guests bring you back one while they're at it.
9. Do the dishes the smart way
Today's smart dishwashers give you and the environment a break. Whirlpool's AccuSense Dishwashers use soil sensors to measure the water clarity and adjust water levels and temperature accordingly, so you can throw pretty much any dish at it. Skip disposable plates, save water and conserve energy--without adding more work for yourself. The companion app on your phone nudges you when you're almost ready for a new load and tracks patterns to help you wash more efficiently.
10. Wipe the floors in your sleep
When the party's over, bring out your iRobot Roomba 880 or Neato Botvac 85. Set a timer and leave the rest to your nocturnal cleanup crew. Debris sensors search for heavy spills and spend extra time in those areas. In the morning, that friend who passed out on your couch might be the only evidence left from the festivities.
For more smart ideas to connect your home in the ways that matter most click here.