Even as states and individual businesses continue to open back up, this summer will be a little different due to COVID-19. Typical summer activities like sporting events may be back, but without fans allowed in the stands. Other entertainment such as amusement parks, beaches, movie theaters, may all be open but at more limited capacities with social distancing practices still encouraged. No matter if you choose to venture out more or continue to stay at home, here are some gadgets to help make your summer an enjoyable one.
TV: The Outdoor QLED Experience
Sometimes you want to enjoy the beautiful weather and watch TV, movies, or sports at the same time—now you don’t have to choose between the two. Sure, before you could always stream on your tablet or smartphone, but now TVs like Samsung’s Terrace TV ($4,999 for 65-inch and $6,499 for 75-inch) are built specifically for the outdoors. This QLED 4K TV is water and dust resistant, features anti-reflection to keep away glare from the sun, and delivers 100% Color Volume that won’t wash away in extreme brightness.
Camping: Smokeless and Portable Fire Pit
You can still practice social distancing while camping, and if you want a portable grill or just an aesthetically pleasing and smokeless fire then it is hard to do better than the BioLite FirePit ($339). This fire pit burns either wood or charcoal, but has a patented airflow system that injects oxygen to burn off smoke before it has a chance to escape the fire. The included grill gate easily turns your fire pit into a hibachi-style grill. Besides camping, this is also great for backyards or even city balconies since you don’t have to worry about smoke.
Projector: Your Backyard Movie Theater
If you still want to watch a movie on a large screen, but prefer not to go to the theaters, then consider a projector. The LG CineBeam PH30N ($399) is specifically built to be portable with a built-in battery that can last up to two hours and wireless capability so you can stream content right from your phone. While the CineBeam PH30N doesn’t offer top-line image quality, it can still project 720p high definition on up to a 100-inch screen.
Grilling: Instant Smart Grill
Not everyone can afford a brand-new smart grill, but the Weber Connect Smart Grilling Hub ($129) can connect to any grill in order to provide similar features. The Weber Connect and its companion app become your step-by-step grilling assistant to help you achieve the goal of perfectly grilled food. The hub sends notifications to your phone including an estimated cook time, when to flip, and a food readiness countdown based on your desired doneness (medium-rare, rare, well done, etc.).
Wearables: Track COVID Symptoms
Several researchers, including those from West Virginia University’s (WVU) Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute (RNI) and WVU Medicine as well as the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), are exploring how the Oura Ring ($299) can be used with AI models to predict COVID. What makes the Oura Ring different from most other wearables is its ability to detect body temperature, which is what attracted researchers to it. Individuals can also use it to track vitals, though obviously they won’t be able to as accurately predict COVID without the benefit of those researchers’ AI models.