We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives.
Technology is not exactly the most welcome guest at a dinner party. As our founder Carla McDonald told the Washington Post: “A cellphone is like a cigarette. If you’re going to use one, you need to excuse yourself from the table and go outside.” It’s a sentiment we wholeheartedly agree with. In fact, we’d love to embroider it—the low-tech, by-hand way, of course—on a cocktail napkin. And yet it seems that tech just can’t stand being left out of the party. Some of today’s most innovative companies are incorporating technology into entertaining products like never before to make hosting easier and parties more fun. Ready to take a byte?
It’s a tale as old as time: your home has been cleaned within an inch of its life, you’re running around lighting candles and setting out hors d’oeuvres, and suddenly you notice a few specks and footprints on the floor—mon Dieu. The solution? Take the hour before your guests arrive to finish getting primped and let Ecovac’s DEEBOT M88, $450, give the floors a final clean—as in a sweep, vacuum, mop, and dry, all in one pass. This genius little helper will even let you know when it’s done by pinging your phone and sending itself into self-charging mode. Good robot.
An Oven for All Seasons
When you’re handling your own party cooking, it can be challenging to get every dish just right. Enter June, the “intelligent oven,” $1,495, which recognizes what you put inside it and uses carbon fiber heating elements, convection fans, a thermometer, and a corresponding app to ensure that everything, from roasts to molten chocolate cakes, gets cooked to perfection every single time.
A Fork Whose Tine Has Come
Sharing high-tech party finds with your guests always makes for great conversation starters. Set your table with Knork flatware, which starts at $25 for a 5-piece place setting, and listen as your guests ooh and ah about how it feels to eat with utensils so high-tech that their ergonomic design has been patented. TS100 member Oprah Winfrey is a fan, citing how the sides of the fork are beveled to cut food with ease. Genius!
Let’s face it. When you’re hosting a party, it’s nearly impossible to keep your bottles of bubbly, white wine, and red wine at just the right serving temperatures. That’s why we’re crazy about Vinglacé, $80, a clever bottle holder that serves as a mini-refrigeration device for giggle water ranging from sparkling wines to full-bodied reds and Ports. Simply unscrew the adjustable top and insert your chilled bottle, screw the top back on, and enjoy your wine at the perfect temperature for hours. Available in a variety of chic colors, they’ll blend in perfectly with your party décor.
She’s So Controlling
Is there a riveting story happening at the table? “Alexa, please turn the music down.” Is a guest chilly? “Alexa, please bump up the temperature to 73.” Is your friend obsessed with your dinnerware and asking you to send her the link to purchase her own set? “Alexa, remind me to email Georgia.” All this control and convenience comes via the Amazon Echo, $179.99, and you’ll never have to leave your seat.
A confident guest is a happy guest. And when you can control the lighting from your smartphone with specially-set lightscapes to flatter, dim, and color-correct like a real-life filter, you’ll be looking at a very delighted set of friends. It’s all thanks to Philips’ Hue system, which starts at $200 and allows you to create your own wireless lighting set-up. You can dim the lights at the dinner table, run a colorful light show to coordinate with your playlist, and then brighten things up at the end of the night to help your guests find their way to the door. Oh, and it syncs up effortlessly with the Echo, giving Alexa another nifty task to control.
The Best High-Tech Party Products
Welcome photo: El Planeta de las Mujeres Invasoras, 1965
Welcome quote: Plan 9 From Outer Space, 1959