When was the last time you threw a party at your house?
If it’s been a while, brace yourself: Throwing a party in 2020 is very different from what it was only a few years ago.
With the smart home market value estimated to grow to 53 billion dollars by 2022, it’s safe to say that technology is changing the way we function. Partying is no exception. Read on to find out which tech you need in order to host awesome smart parties at your house.
Smart Party Basics
Do you consider your house a smart home? Have you installed a sound bar to improve the audio of your favorite sports and movies?
If so, it’s likely that you have some or all of the following devices. Let’s go over the following gadgets in the context of a fun get-together.
1. Voice Controller
You know her, you love her, you use her everyday: It’s Alexa!
That’s right; Amazon’s premium smart device is the most essential gadget to have on hand when hosting a smart party.
Whether you buy an Echo Dot or an Echo plus, you can use Amazon’s celebrated voice assistant, Alexa, to do your bidding while you socialize with friends.
Alexa is even available for your smartphone.
In a pinch, you can use your phone’s built-in microphone to give Alexa voice commands and use some of her best skills. In order to take the most advantage of Alexa’s capabilities, though, connect your phone to an Amazon device.
For even more variety, you can purchase an Alexa-enabled third-party smart speaker. The Ultimate Ears Blast comes to mind. Those rugged little speakers fill a room nicely in terms of volume.
In addition to being able to control your device using Alexa, some Ultimate Ears speakers can be interconnected. Use them to create the ultimate living room sound system; no retro stereo necessary.
How To Use It
Put Alexa to work in various ways during your party. Have her tell you recipes as you prepare party treats, for instance.
If you’re not in the mood for cooking, let Alexa play caterer. She can help you order pizza for all the party people.
When your guests arrive, have Alexa entertain them with jokes, games, and fun facts. She can engage music lovers in a song quiz or play Jeopardy with the trivia nerds.
Judging by such a long list of skills, Alexa can be the life of the party at any shindig.
2. Smart Universal Remote Control
If you’re not yet comfortable with controlling all of your devices with voice commands, or if you want a more powerful smart home, you are probably in the market for a smart universal remote control.
A smart remote, such as the Logitech Harmony Hub, allows you to connect and control all of the devices in your home wirelessly. Simply put, it turns your smart phone into a universal center of connectivity, and allows you to program very specific commands.
High-end smart universal remotes boast a lot of power and flexibility. The Harmony Hub can connect up to 8 devices simultaneously. It is currently compatible with around 270 mainstream bluetooth-enabled devices, including TV’s, computers, and smart lighting systems.
How To Use It
With a smart universal remote, you can be the ultimate party host while you mingle with your friends:
- Be the DJ, and control your speaker system from afar.
- Turn on the instant pot to pressure-cook a snack for the guests.
- Turn on a TV show for the little kids at the party.
- Treat your guests to a light show while you sit and watch along with them.
Most smart universal remotes allow you to program their actions using micros. This way, you can use yours to complete very specific tasks. For instance, you can turn your TV on to channel 12, or you can program your speaker to play your favorite Spotify playlist.
Smart Entertainment Essentials
Entertainment is the ultimate reason for any party. Luckily, plenty of smart devices?are available to help you put on the best show, regardless of who’s in attendance.
Use any of the following devices to make your gathering feel like an authentic 21st-century party.
3. Smart Lighting
There’s no party without epic lighting. Whether you’re putting on a light show with a rotating smart disco ball or you’re dimming the lights for a more ambient atmosphere, you should be able to do so with the swipe of a screen.
Smart light bulbs?save you both time and money. You can control them with your universal remote or an Echo, and they can self-regulate based on a preprogrammed pattern.
How To Use It
Connect a variety of smart lighting devices to create the perfect mood for the party.
- Use smart floodlights to guide your guests to the party house.
- Once the party is in full swing, use a string of smart LED lights to put on a light show.
- Synchronize the light patterns with your music to turn your living room into a nightclub.
- Use your smart bulbs to create a different party atmosphere from room to room.
If your den is meant for chilling out and close conversation, use a cool blue lighted background to cast a calm glow. In the kitchen, set up a snack buffet and turn on some warmer lighting to complement the display.
4. Multi-room Speakers
Lighting isn’t the only mood-setter at your future smart party. Good music sets the mood as well.
Thanks to innovative smart technology, you can customize your audio entertainment to small groups of guests, making everyone happy. If you want the same party tunes to waft through your house for all to enjoy, that could be arranged as well.
The best option for a multi-room sound system is a pairing of multiple Sonos speakers. Sonos speakers impress even the most discerning audiophiles with their huge sound and crisp clarity.
How To Use It
Pair your speakers to one another, and strategically space them out in each party room. Then, connect them to your smartphone or universal remote, and start blasting your guests’ favorite hits. It’s that simple.
Smart Security And Comfort
If you want your guests to let their hair down at your party, they need to feel comfortable and secure. Today, your everyday smart devices can help you keep your home comfortable and safe whether you’re hosting a small dinner party or you’ve invited your whole neighborhood.
5. Smart Lock and Doorbell
Who will play gatekeeper at your party?
You have two choices: Have fun and socialize at your own party, or stand guard at your front door as your guests trickle in. You might also hire a bouncer, but why do that if you can opt for a few smart security tools instead?
Video doorbells, such as Amazon’s Ring, are becoming increasingly popular with the average American household. If you buy one specifically for your upcoming smart party, you’ll probably integrate this device into your home long-term.
Smart doorbells are practical as well as convenient. In fact, they are known to deter possible criminals. If this doesn’t reassure you and your guests during the hubbub of a party, what will?
Smart door locks?are another useful piece of the smart security puzzle. They are different from smart doorbells because they can actually let people into your home if you want them to.
Using a code on a number pad, your guests can let themselves into your house without waiting for you to open the door.
How To Use It
Thanks to the available video feed from both smart lock apps and video doorbells, you can clearly see who’s at your door without standing in your foyer.
Glance at your camera feed to see who’s pulling into your driveway as you socialize with friends. If they’re invited to the party, they can let themselves in via a special code you share with your guests. This code weeds out any would-be party crashers.
6. Smart Thermostat
Comfort is the ultimate predictor of whether a guest walks away from your party satisfied. Take control of the temperature in each room to ensure that your space is neither too hot nor too cold for a party.
Smart thermostats?connect to your phone. Some brands, such as Nest, can be controlled with Amazon’s Alexa as well.
How To Use It
For everyday use, your smart thermostat can save you energy by self-regulating based on your personal daily schedule. For your party, you can use it to cool down your home before the event, and then steadily increase the temperature as the party winds down.
Cooking Tools For Smart Parties
Universal party etiquette dictates that guests never leave the gathering hungry. Sure, you can have your party catered, or you can put out store-bought snacks. But if you’re entertaining, why not show off your smart gadgets and your cooking skills in one shot?
Here are some useful smart devices to keep in your kitchen. Get them for the party, and let them make your life easier in the days to come.
7. Smart Coffeemaker
You’ll need plenty of coffee to get through the party preparations and well after the last guest leaves. Don’t bother yourself with brewing dozens of pots of Jo, and forget about the old-school drip coffee maker. Machines such as Smarter coffee’s home brewing system pack every useful function you might wish for into one sleek, fine-looking product.
Don’t worry about grinding your beans, and don’t resort to buying ground coffee in bulk for your party. The Smarter Coffee system has a built-in grinder that works on a timer. Just insert the coffee beans into your machine, program your preferred brewing time using your connected device, and come back to a freshly brewed pot.
How To Use It
It doesn’t matter if you’re hosting a luncheon or an evening party. Your guests might want coffee instead of other refreshments.
Use your smart coffeemaker to keep fresh coffee on hand throughout the party. You can use your Alexa-enabled speaker or your smart phone to control your coffeemaker. All you have to do manually is stock the machine up with coffee beans, and program the coffeemaker to brew fresh pots in timed intervals.
8. Smart Barbecue
Are you planning a cookout?
If so, why spend your time tending to the old-fashioned gas grill when you can sear and smoke tasty meals from afar?
Whether you’re into simple grilling or you’ve always wanted a true backyard smoker, there’s a smart device that’s able to surpass all your barbecuing dreams.
A smart grill is a lot like the grills you’ve come to love. The only difference is that it can be controlled via an app on your smartphone. From temperatures to times to specific programmed cooking processes, your grilling app can handle it all from your IOS or Android device.
Some smokers and grills even allow remote control via a server. This means that you can actually grill your food while away from home.
How To Use It
Forgetting about manning the grill in the summer heat. Put your meat and veggies on the grill as you normally would. Then, go back inside and control the grilling process from your couch while you chat with friends.
Are you curious to see how the meat is cooking? No worries. Certain smart grills provide a realtime view of your barbecue through the connected app.
9. Smart Slowcooker
Do you want to wow your guests with your kitchen prowess?
Forget about slaving away for hours in front of the stove. Get on the smart slowcooker bandwagon.
Since its release, the Instant Pot has developed a global cult following. In 2016, Amazon sold 215 thousand Instant Pots?during Prime Day, it’s annual site-wide 24-hour deal extravaganza. This sale surpassed other popular electronics such as tablets and TV’s.
Boasting seven cooking options in one convenient pot, this cooker can produce a scrumptious, wholesome meal in minutes.
Though not every Instant Pot is bluetooth enabled, one model can be controlled remotely through a connected smartphone app. If you’re not interested in the Instant Pot itself, other WiFi-enabled slowcookers and pressure cookers will do the job just as well.
How to Use It
In all fairness, you might not be able to cook an entire meal for your party guests in a smart slowcooker unless the party is small. That said, you can easily cook up a side dish (quick mac n’ cheese or some steamed veggies), in a matter of 15 minutes or so. Cook your dish without ever having to stir it, and control its progress while you give your guests a house tour.
Want More Smart Home Tips?
Thanks to all of the above devices,?any smart parties you throw are on track to be successful. Don’t hesitate to find new ways to take advantage of today’s tech, though.
For more tips and guides on smart home living, visit us here at A Connected Home regularly. We’re happy to help you explore your home’s intelligent tech potential.