Football season is in full effect and whether you're a college football fan, an NFL fan, or both, the latest tech gadgets take the entire experience to a new level. Even if you aren't into the game, football fandom isn't just about what happens on the field anymore. There are so many aspects to the football experience to enjoy -- like the tailgating -- that new gadgets have made it fun for everyone.
As someone who appreciates novel gadgets and impressive technology more than field goals and touchdowns, I spent the past couple weeks checking out some of the new connected solutions of the Digital Age. Here are some ideas for getting into the football zone with hi-tech innovation.
First things first. When I think about watching football at home, it has to be on a high definition big screen or I'm going to lose interest before the opening kickoff. If you plan on hosting the game at your house, then you're going to want to impress the guests with television quality that looks better than if they were sitting in the front row on the 50-yard-line.
Sears provides everything you'll need in a football game-viewing TV and more with the Samsung 65" Curved Smart TV. This is the "big boy" of curved TVs. Its state-of-the-art curved screen delivers an immersive picture with off-angle viewing that makes any seat in your living room the best in the house. With its Smart TV feature, you can easily participate in social media conversations, surf the Web to look up player stats, check scores and watch game highlights. If watching the game isn't your thing, just switch over to Netflix, HBO Go or Amazon Prime and watch a movie or get addicted to a TV series. Price: $3,199.99
*For dynamic sound, combine this impressive smart TV with the Samsung 320 W Soundbar w/Wireless Active Subwoofer, which is Bluetooth enabled. (Price: $379.99).
Every tailgate party needs good music or maybe you just want to listen to the pre-game commentary. Either way, the iLuv Aud Mini 6 Party speaker is ideal for your tailgate fun. This dynamic color LED portable wireless Bluetooth speaker connects to most smart devices including all iPhones and iPads. It's lightweight (same size as an iPhone 6), but has a powerful sound. Additionally, the iLuv Aud Mini 6 Party has a rechargeable battery and lets you answer calls with its hands-free technology. Price: $39.99.
The best way to bring your cold drinks and food items to the tailgate this season is with the KoolMAX Wheeled Cooler Bluetooth PA System and ChargingStation from Sears.com/ConnectedSolutions. While the cooler might not be one of the tailgate accessories that you thought could become connected with technology, you'll be amazed with what this "Smart Cooler" can do. The KoolMAX streams music wirelessly through a 350-watt stereo with 5" subs and dual tweeters for great sound at your tailgate or kid's football game. The KoolMax can perform as a pro-grade PA system by providing XLR microphone input, and 1/4" instrument input, 3.5mm auxiliary input, USB data and charging port and SD card slot. iPad or tablet can be safely placed in the top compartment and cell phone also can be stored and charged at the same time in the water resistant slot in the front panel. Yes, it still functions as a cooler with the ability to fit up to 48 cans ice cold for up to three days. Price: $399.99
There's nothing worse than being stuck at a football game and your cellphone's battery is dying on you. There might be countless options of portable battery packs on the market to recharge your phone while on the go, but the latest PowerConnect series from Echo are the smallest and most powerful available. These small and powerful power banks will keep you connected for the entire game and you won't even notice it's in your pocket because it's so lightweight. The PowerConnect series is made up of the large PowerConnect Dual which comes with an integrated dual headed connector for both iPhone and Android, and the PowerConnect mini which is available for both as well (available in black or white). Price: $44 ($30 for the Mini)
Sears.com/ConnectedSolutions also has come out with a Bluetooth-enabled thermometer for grilling and the Quirky Refuel, a smart propane gauge so you'll always know how much propane is left in your tank (it even sends automatic alerts to your smartphone when you're running low!).
It's important to remember that being outside in an open air stadium for a three-hour football game in the fall means you're still susceptible to sunburn. The June By Netatmo bracelet measures your sun exposure throughout the day. With the connected mobile app, you'll receive real-time advice on your smartphone to protect yourself from the sun. The June was designed by one of the leading designers in French jewelry. It can be worn on the leather strap or on the premium silicon bracelet, and it's available in three colors: platinum, gold and gunmetal. Price: $129
Football might still be a simple game of throwing, catching and kicking a pigskin ball, but the technology innovation available to enhance our football experience is revolutionary. From smart TVs for catching every play in great detail to wireless gadgets to improve your tailgate, the future of the football season experience is here now.