Smart Entertaining for the Big Game Starts with Smart Devices

Today’s Tech

February 2, 2018

Paul MooreStaff Writer

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Pro football’s biggest game of the year is about more than watching gridiron action. It’s about entertaining and being entertained (even if the game is a blowout).

If you’re having people over, you can let your smart home devices do a lot of the work for you, both before and during the game.

Minneapolis is hosting this year’s Big Game, so we asked Geek Squad Agent Derek Johnson at the nearby Mall of America Best Buy store for some tips on putting those smart devices to work. And it just so happens Derek is hosting his own party this year.

The key to smart home entertaining starts with a voice assistant, Derek said.

“The voice assistant is my control unit, so I run everything through it,” he said. “You can use Google Home, and Amazon Echo does a great job too.”

For pregame atmosphere, Derek has Hue lights throughout his house that he can control with his voice assistant He can tell it to change the colors on a color bulb or simply turn lights off or on in different rooms.

The savvy party host can also sprinkle Google Home Mini assistants everywhere.

“I have speakers in the kitchen, both bathrooms, all over,” Derek said. “I could have a song play in all the speakers, or, if I wanted to drive my wife crazy, I could have a different song playing in every room.

“Another cool thing is the Harmony Hub. So I can tell my voice assistant to turn on the TV, and it will automatically power everything up, without me ever touching a remote.”

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And finally, if you’re at the grocery store picking up last-minute items and realize you forgot to turn the crockpot on, you’re in luck — as long as you left it plugged into a smart plug, like the Wemo.

“Then you just take out your phone, press the button and turn on the chili,” Derek said.

Learn more about smart home devices by going to BestBuy.com or stopping by your local Best Buy store.