By Adrian Justins
From helping to take the stress out of cooking the yuletide feast to conjuring up dramatic light shows, technology can make Christmas easier and more enjoyable.
This six-bedroom chalet in Méribel, in the French Alps, would provide the ideal setting for festivities. The open plan living/dining room has fantastic snowy mountain views through its floor-to-ceiling windows while a roaring fire provides a cosy atmosphere.
The future owners of the recently-renovated property, on sale for €3.75m, might like to install the following tech to enhance their seasonal celebrations.
Thermapen Bluetooth meat thermometer kit, £169.20
A Bluetooth meat thermometer can help Christmas chefs by transmitting the temperature of the roasting bird (or other meat) to an app, allowing the cook to concentrate on other culinary duties — or to enjoy a glass of sherry and a mince pie. The temperature of the meat is also displayed on the ThermaQ Blue’s external monitor, while the app charts the change in temperature. An alarm can be set to sound when the turkey has reached the target temperature.
Plum countertop wine optimiser and pourer, $2,499
To accompany your perfectly cooked food, guests may well expect an equally well-presented glass of wine. This wine machine identifies the contents of any standard 750ml bottle label using a high-definition camera, connects online to consult a virtual sommelier and then chills the drink to its ideal serving temperature. The machine, which can store two bottles in separate chambers with each label displayed on a touchscreen, dispenses a 150ml glass when prompted and preserves the wine for up to 90 days.
Twinkly smart Christmas fairy lights, £62.99
The centrepiece of festive home decorations, your Christmas tree can produce a spectacular show when adorned with this 8m string of app-controlled fairy lights (also main picture, above) available from Lights4fun. You can use the app to create your own patterns and effects with the 100 LED lights, varying the colour and brightness of each bulb, drawing designs on screen and sharing the effects as animated GIFs. The lights can be controlled by voice assistants using a WiFi connection, while Bluetooth connectivity allows for synchronisation with music when paired with the £31.99 Twinkly Music Device (below, left).
Novostella smart flood lights, £56.99
With the lights sorted inside, how about adding a festive glow to your home’s exterior with this pack of two WiFi smart LED flood lights. Each 20W light produces 2,000 lumens of brightness and has more than 16m dimmable colours that can be operated via an app or they can be voice-controlled using Alexa or Google Home assistants. They can also be set to react to music. The lights are waterproof and have a lifespan of 20,000 hours.
AtmosFX projector with digital festive holograms, $359
You can also entertain the neighbours with three-dimensional seasonal scenes in your window: elves wrapping gifts in Santa’s workshop, a snowman juggling snowballs or Father Christmas dropping off presents by the tree. The images are created by projecting 3D video files on to a holographic screen. The AtmosFX M1+ holiday bundle includes a ViewSonic M1+ projector (below, left) and a 4GB USB drive with 16 decorations (covering year-round occasions) plus four bonus videos pre-installed into the projector.
AtmosFX’s seasonal decorations are also available separately as downloadable files, priced from $7, for use with your own projector.
Photography: Méribel 3 Vallées Sotheby's International Realty