Increase Your Summer Leisure Time

After a long winter, summer is finally here and the last thing anyone wants to do is spend any more time than necessary cooped up indoors cooking and cleaning. Summer is meant for enjoyment and fortunately, a handful of new products can help expedite your household chores so you can spend more time in the sun—with a constant stream of fresh cocktails.

Entertaining: The Perfect Cocktail in 5 Seconds



Even mixing drinks takes away from your leisure time, so why not have your own personal, automated bartender do it for you. The Somabar ($429) is an app-controlled bartending appliance with an ordering system that will provide you with a menu of what is available based on the ingredients you already have. Once you load the ingredients, drinks can be ready in five seconds. The Somabar also makes sure cocktails are fully mixed before serving and will infuse bitters into the drink just like expert mixologists.

Gardening: Know Your Plants’ Needs


You may love the idea of growing your own fresh tomatoes, cucumbers or just a potted plant to spruce up your apartment, but hate the idea of actually gardening. Well, Parrot’s Flower Power ($60) should at least make it a bit easier. The sensor measures a plant’s four main needs: Sunlight, temperature, fertilizer and moisture, and sends alerts to your smartphone when the plant needs your attention. The rest, however, is up to you.

Cleaning: Set It And Forget It


Neato’s new Botvac D Series ($499 to $599) of robotic vacuums all feature a larger combo brush that is not only uniquely designed to pick up pet hair, but is also quieter on hard floors. The patented LaserSmart technology will map the room and ensure the vacuum is not just bumping around the walls. You can even schedule daily cleanings, and the vacuum will automatically go back to the charge base when it runs out of juice and then start right back up again when it is recharged.

Washing: Double the Load


Washing clothes always takes longer because colors, whites, delicates, etc., all need to be washed in separate loads. But LG’s TWIN Wash System can handle two different loads simultaneously thanks to a mini washer in the machine’s pedestal. And the device’s TurboWash 2.0 technology reduces wash times even further. The washers are also equipped with WiFi and NFC technology so you can download pre-programmed wash cycles to your smartphone—just touch the phone to the washer to start the cycle. No price was available at press time.

Grilling: No More Guesswork


Lynx’s new series of SmartGrills ($5,999 to $9,499) takes all of the guesswork out of grilling. Simply select one of hundreds of recipes on the SmartGrill app and the grill will determine the optimal grilling time and technique. The grill will then alert you via text or even a voice command when the next step in the process is ready (i.e., flipping the steak). And cooks can even give their own voice commands if they want the grill to change course, such as switching from medium rare to well done.



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