Summer is here, and for technocrats, that means more than just mojitos and barbecues. Here are some useful and fanciful gadgets to help you make the most of your time enjoying the sun, surf and lazy weekends of the season.
The Auto Mower from Husqvarna is like a Roomba for the lawn. Able to manage inclines of up to 35 degrees, the Auto Mower uses a rechargeable nickel metal hydride battery to quietly trim and mulch unwanted grass. It can be set to run at night and will automatically return to its base to recharge as needed.A wire buried just underground sets the parameters for the $2,000 Auto Mower, though it can go around the occasional tree on its own. Safety sensors are in place to stop the blades, which only run while the mower is in motion, from harming children and small critters who might reach underneath the device. While winter storage is recommended, the Auto Mower can withstand rains and winds typical of other seasons.
While 2.4 seconds between shots is a little slow, the is a 7-megapixel camera with a 2.5-inch anti-glare LCD screen. The camera, which has digital image stabilization, can keep shooting in up to 33 feet of water and also withstand a drop of 5 feet. The camera will even record sound with those underwater videos.
For something that runs off nickel metal hydride batteries, the Maxi Scooter is zippy, sort of. The $11,000 scooter does 0 to 50 miles per hour in about 6.8 seconds.
Because the food cooks from a direct source of high heat (temperatures range from 340 to 950 degrees) evenly spaced, food is supposedly seared more quickly and retains more moisture than it would with gas or charcoal grills. The average hamburger takes seven minutes total to grill, according to Solaire's own directions.
While the Solaire portable sells for about $323, the 27-inch grill goes for $1,209 and the 56-inch grill for about $5,559.
You can, however, take your Nintendo DS Lite with you to satisfy your video game cravings, even as you enjoy the great outdoors. The offers a slimmer, more brightly lit option than the original for only $130.
This gives the ETA of approaching storms through a flashing LED light, beeps and text messages on its screen. This gives you time to hike for cover or head back into the harbor long before you're in danger of getting struck. It's available at Hammacher Schlemmer for $430.