Mike LangGrilling, Technology

Tech on the Deck

Mike LangGrilling, Technology
Tech on the Deck

I've always been a geek at heart, and when tech comes up in a conversation around close friends, invariably someone makes an AV Club President crack at my expense. It's OK. It comes with the territory. It was an honorable position.

With technology lovingly invading almost every other part of my life, it makes sense it helps out with my grilling.

Last week, friend of the blog Gary R asked how I went about controlling my "grill deck" lights. His simple question spawned not only an answer but a video answer!

Yes, Alexa is awesome. I have an Echo at work. I've lost track of the number of times I've walked into work with it playing either slash metal or Yanni. For the kitchen, the Dot works great, as my good audio system is separate. The Dot is just there to "talk" and its speaker works perfectly for it.

In comparison to Siri, Alexa is much better at understanding speech, even if Siri seems to do better at interpreting the speech into action. I credit Alexa with a myriad of microphones to Siri's few. However, Apple's Homekit and iDevices integration into it is spectacular. 

It's nice coming home with the inside back door light lit up, or a morning light routine to avoid stumbling through the house looking for a lights switch, or better yet, using IFTTT to make all of these devices work better together.

IFTTT, as mentioned in the video, is a service which uses "applets" to tie two "things" together. For instance, here is the applet used to tie Alexa's Timer to my Philips Hue bulb. While I use it for Hue, IFTTT can connect to hundreds of services. No Hue bulb? Try ringing your phone or get an iOS notification.

Some of my other favorite applets? How about an automatic search for Weber Grills on Craiglist or adding Alexa Shopping list items to Evernote?

Whether it's a timer or lights, there is a lot of use for technology in grilling, and this doesn't even include photography! I'll leave that for another post.

Devices in the Post:

Amazon Dot
Phillips Hue Bulbs
iDevices Outdoor Switch

Note: All of the devices in this post were purchased by me. I have no relationship with Phillips, Amazon (unless you count an inordinate number of UPS deliveries or their affiliate links), iDevices, or Apple. The links above do run through my Amazon affiliate links. Thanks for your support!