Slideshow

Punch up your pool with great tech gadgets

Eight gadgets to take your swimming space to the next level

  • Solar Powered iPod Speaker



    With a splashproof body and a sun-soaking solar panel, this [[xref:http://www.hammacher.com/Product/78561?promo=Category-NewArrivals&catid=60&cm_ven=CJ&cm_ite=Hammacher+Schlemmer&cm_pla=1781363&cm_cat=1511450|iPod speaker system|iPod speaker system]] (US$200) from Hammacher Schlemmer was made to park next to you while you lounge by the pool. According to the company, 3 hours of solar charging produces 1 hour of playtime; alternatively, you can run the speaker system on AC power.
  • Grace Digital Audio Aqua Sounder



    Toss one of these floating wireless speakers into your pool and let your music go global (or at least spherical). According to the manufacturer, the [[xref:http://www.gracedigitalaudio.com/aqua-sounder-floating-wireless-speaker-p-17.html|Aqua Sounder|Aqua Sounder]] (US$100 each) has a 150-foot listening range and supports up to 6 (or 10, depending on which page of Grace Digital Audio specs you believe) hours of battery life. You also get a wireless transmitter (which looks like a bulky MP3 player dock) and a user guide. LED "mood lights" (two per speaker) keep the Aqua Sounder visible when the sun goes down.

    Alternatively, if you have a pair of speakers lying around and you prefer a do-it-yourself approach, you can make your own [[xref:http://www.instructables.com/id/Waterproof-Speakers-that-float-quotIt-floats-/|floating, waterproof speaker contraption|floating, waterproof speaker contraption]]
  • Sanyo VPC-WH1



    Record your poolside and submerged shenanigans with the waterproof [[xref:http://www.pcworld.com/article/181714/sanyo_vpcwh1.html|Sanyo Xacti VPC-WH19|Sanyo Xacti VPC-WH19]] (US$350 street). The image quality of this bright yellow camcorder (it also comes in a turquoise version) won't bowl you over, but you can [[xref:http://www.macworld.com/article/140734/2009/05/vpcwh1.html|splash around|First look: Sanyo VPC-WH1 waterproof HD camcorder]] with abandon and record the underwater action for a lot longer than you can hold your breath.
  • Excalibur Electronics Motorized Pool Lounger



    Rule your pool from a suitable throne--the inflatable [[xref:http://www.excaliburelectronics.com/featr-outdoor3.html|Excalibur Motorized Pool Lounger|Excalibur Motorized Pool Lounger]] (US$150), which Time Magazine named one of the [[xref:http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1939342_1939395_1939673,00.html|Best Inventions of 2006|Best Inventions of 2006]]. The joysticks on each armrest control independent propellers to transport your monarchical self in any desired direction.

    For more-competitive water fun, check out the same company's [[xref:http://www.amazon.com/Excalibur-Motorized-Bumper-Boat/dp/B000PSU12O/ref=pd_sbs_t_4|Motorized Bumper Boat|Motorized Bumper Boat]] (US$60). Buy two and encourage your paladins to engage in noodle jousts for your royal favor.
  • Smartphone Pool Calculator



    Whatever your swimming pool is filled with, you're soaking in it. So make sure it's not lemon juice or an alkaline mini-lake. Whip out your iPhone, load this [[xref:http://www.pcworld.com/appguide/app.html?id=91112&expand=false|Pool Calculator|Pool Calculator]] (US$5) app, and find out what you need to do to get your pool's pH, chlorine level, and other chemical properties into optimum balance. The app provides recommended levels, ranges, and computations for a multitude of basic chemicals.
  • Olympus Stylus Tough 8000



    Among our favorite nearly indestructible cameras is the [[xref:http://www.pcworld.com/article/165739/olympus_stylus_tough_8000.html|Olympus Stylus Tough 8000|Olympus Stylus Tough 8000]]. With specs like "sealed gaskets and screwed-on armor," this camera can withstand hostile environments, boisterous children, and even [[xref:http://www.pcworld.com/article/181116/digital_demolition_can_a_phone_and_camera_withstand_the_dunk_test.html|destructive journalists|Digital Demolition: Can a Phone and Camera Withstand the Dunk Test?]]. According to Olympus, it is waterproof to a depth of 33 feet and can survive drops of up to 6.6 feet.

    For other sturdy camera options, check out our silde shows "[[xref:http://www.pcworld.com/article/170706/tough_tech_rugged_gear_that_can_survive_almost_any_calamity.html|Tough Tech: Rugged Gear That Can Survive Almost Any Calamity|Tough Tech: Rugged Gear That Can Survive Almost Any Calamity]]" and "[[xref:http://www.pcworld.com/article/189765/six_tough_rugged_cameras.html|Six Tough, Rugged Cameras|Six Tough, Rugged Cameras]]."
  • AquaGlow Underwater Light Starship



    Turn your pool into a disco/rave/intergalactic space party on the underwater planet of Boogiedoon with the [[xref:http://www.amazon.com/Game-3559-AquaGlow-Underwater-Starship/dp/B000PB3TX4/ref=pd_sim_ol_1|AquaGlow Underwater Light Starship|AquaGlow Underwater Light Starship]] (US$25). This rotating device has ten different light-show settings and can illuminate water up to 20 feet away (consider investing in two or three for a larger pool).
  • Excalibur Electronics Radio Control Snack Float



    Don't want to make the arduous trek to the patio to grab a drink? With the flick of a finger, you can motor up to five drinks and a snack from the edge of the pool to wherever you're basking, thanks to the [[xref:http://www.esend.com/Excalibur/Products.aspx?Catalog=Excalibur&ProductID=PR640S-1%28Esend%29|Excalibur Electronics Radio Control Snack Float|Excalibur Electronics Radio Control Snack Float]] (US$70)--possibly the grooviest aquatic innovation since sharks with lasers.
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