Read that juicy novel aboard your favourite floating lounger without fear of it tumbling into the lake or the pool. The waterproof Kobo Aura H2O eReader is perfect for devouring a bestseller (or three) on your summer vacation, and the anti-glare E Ink display looks crisp in sunlight. $200.
Boxy black speakers are tough to camouflage on a patio. Resembling craggy river rocks, Rockustics PunkRock speakers pack an audio punch, and the naturalistic shape and realistic colourways make them almost undetectable. $450 each.
GRILL & CHILL
Step back from the flames and still keep an eye on the grill. The Timberline 1300 Pellet Grill by Traeger features a “WiFire” controller that allows you to monitor cooking through an app while you relax inside, or chat with friends by the bar. Change cook time, smoke level or temperature, or access Traeger’s recipes, all from your smartphone. $3,000.
A CUT ABOVE
The bane of weekend afternoons, lawn-mowing — and the accompanying racket — has been outsourced to robots. A phone app powers up the Husqvarna Automower, which then quietly cuts the grass for you, staying within the confines of your yard with an underground guidewire. A handy collision sensor means flowerbeds, trees (and kids!) are avoided. Amazon Alexa voice control capabilities are coming soon, too, so there really is no reason to vacate that hammock. From $1,900 to $4,200.
Watch the biggest stars under the stars and host your own backyard movie night. Combined with a stand and screen, the TT Virtual Touch Portable projector by Piqs plays movies from apps like Netflix or anything you can save on a memory card. And don’t worry about stumbling over cords in the dark: the battery lasts for three hours, meaning you aren’t tethered to cumbersome power cables. $750 (optional stand, $30).