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Here in Chicago we are basking in a summer that came on fast and furious — we’re in our third straight week of 75+ degree weather and I am embracing the sunshine! Now that I am basking in heat, sunshine, and longer days, I find myself lusting after a few summer tech gadgets. Following are a few items that would make summer easier, more comfortable, and just plain fun:
Waterproof iPhone Case
When I think of summer I think of lying on the beach, sailboats in Lake Michigan, and waterpark adventures! Not only do I want my phone along on these outings “just in case,” but I also want to be able to document the fun. If you’re looking for a waterproof case, I recommend the LifeProof brand, which is owned by Otterbox. They’ve been in the waterproof case business as long as anyone and the reviews trend positive. If you want to ensure your case works with interchangeable lenses, consider Optrix by Body Glove Kit. Optrix is slightly more expensive than Lifeproof, but Body Glove is a surf/dive company and they really know their stuff so the value is there for the extra features.
Surely you’ve heard of Nest by now. The thermostat will make a huge difference in the dead of summer by allowing you to schedule your air conditioning and review your energy history. Moreover, the Nest learns your schedule and helps teach you how to further improve your energy consumption. Pretty nifty! If you’re not wild about the Nest, consider similar products by Honeywell or Emerson.
Smart Sprinkler System
We just had new landscaping put in this spring and although I love the new look, it takes a lot of time and attention to keep it watered and maintained! These past few weeks I find myself consistently researching automatic sprinklers and sprinklers with timers. My research, thus far, convinced me that the Rachio Smart Sprinkler is the industry standard. Think of it as the Nest Thermostat for your lawn. Unfortunately, we don’t have an irrigation system set up yet, so I’m probably going to be going with a much simpler timer, such as the Orbit Digital Timer, in the near future.
If you’re lucky enough to be lounging by the pool this summer, you may want to consider a waterproof speaker. I’ve heard amazing things about the JBL 3! At less than $100 and available in eight fun colors, it’s a steal and a great gift idea. I’ve also heard great things about the tiny and powerful Omaker which is currently selling for $30 on Amazon!
Running is just as big a part of summer to me as water. While I run year-round, summer brings a new set of inspiration and motivation. I love stepping outside my door and getting lost for the an hour or so on a morning run as the day is just beginning to heat up. It’s great to have GPS watch that lets me know how far the day’s jaunt took me. The Garmin 230 or 235 are the top of the line GPS watches this summer and from everything I’ve read, totally work the splurge! I chose a more simple Forerunner 15 for the small profile and affordable price. Any way you go, you can’t go wrong with Garmin watches.
Like these recommendations? See others I’ve made this spring/summer:
- A Review of the Best Password Managers in 2016
- Top 3 Apps for Printing Photos from Your Phone
- iOS Apps for Spring Cleaning
Which summer tech gadgets are you lusting after right now?