While the real meaning of Thankgiving is forging and nourishing real, meaningful connections with your loved ones, the holiday as a whole is likely to go a lot more smoothly if you’re…well, connected.
So before you undercook the turkey (and overdose on bloody marys), here are a few ways the Internet of Things can help you survive this holiday season—whether you’re hosting the in-laws or stranded at some “quaint” (code for cable-less) cottage in the country.
GUARANTEE COOKED-TO-PERFECTION POULTRY
The quickest way to ruin a carnivore’s Thanksgiving? We’d wager that would be messing up the turkey. Thankfully, you don’t have to rely on old-school methods to make sure you don’t burn the bird. Bluetooth kitchen thermometers like this one from iDevices allow you to monitor your meat using a temperature probe and your smartphone, therefore guaranteeing a culinary grand slam.
Or you can really impress the fam and have your turkey tweet at you. #Takethatpilgrims
AND WORK IT ALL OFF AFTERWARDS
We’re not going to suggest you count calories during Thanksgiving…predominantly because we’re not fun-sucking monsters. But if you do want to undo some nutritional damage after the holiday is over, there are a ton of fitness trackers out there that make it easier than ever to track stats, compete with friends, and meet your get-in-shape goals.
Or maybe just wait until January. That’s probably a better idea.
KEEP YOUR COUSIN WHO “RUNS COLD” IN CHECK
Sure it’s the holiday season, but 60 degrees does not a winter wonderland make, and you’ll be damned if you let anyone jack up your heat (and bill) to compensate for Florence’s lack of body fat. Keep tabs on your temp with a smart thermostat like the Nest, and you can guarantee total climate control.
She can put on a sweater or something.
Your infant niece hasn’t realized the value of sleeping in past dawn, but thankfully there’s one way to manage those early mornings without, um, murdering anyone, and that is what we call caffeine. Guarantee your coffee is already brewing before you even get out of bed with a wifi-enabled coffee maker like this one. Up and at ‘em, tiger.
HELP EVERYONE’S HOOP GAME
While a game of HORSE isn’t necessarily a holiday tradition, there’s no better way to bond with your younger, shorter family members than by dunking over them and yelling, “IN YOUR FACE!” (Just us?) And after you’ve crushed every kid’s (W)NBA dreams, help them improve their skills—and keep them out of the kitchen—with the Wilson X Connected basketball, which links up with the WIlson X App to track the user’s shooting stats…whether they’re good or not.
CONTROL THE TV
Want ultimate control over the remote control? Thankfully there’s a way that you can run the show (pun totally intended) from your phone via Google Chromecast, which allows you to cast television from your phone right to the TV.
Sorry, Grandpa—Matlock is sooo not happening.
ENHANCE YOUR NFL EXPERIENCE
Step up your sports-watching game. Wired reported in August that this season,“tracking technology will be embedded in every NFL player’s shoulder pads, and viewers at home can see all that data come to life in the redesigned NFL 2015 app for Xbox One and Windows 10.” Think info like players’ speed, distance and direction traveled during each game—all tracked in real-time. Because just watching the game? Psh, soooo 2014.
STAY ORGANIZED WITH YOUR OWN PERSONAL ASSISTANT
Her name is Alexa, she’s from the Amazon, and whether you need weather, some music, a recipe or the answer to (almost) any stupid question, the sometimes-sassy “personality” behind the Echo is here to help.
Another one of her skills? Conflict resolution. After all, if SNL has taught us anything, there’s a solution for awkward dinnertime arguments: “Alexa, play Adele.”