Sunny Smartwatches, Bags, and iGrills: This Summer’s Must-Have Tech

Reef flip-flops are comfy shoes that double up as bottle openers, meaning you can head off with a drink in hand and never worry about cracking a tooth on a beer cap again.

05.27.14 4:00 AM ET

With the vacation season right around the corner, packing up your trip staples has become part of the routine. But a host of new gadgets can transform your time away: whether it’s a bag that doubles as a phone charger, your own George Foreman on-the-go, or a motorized bumper boat, here are some of the best innovations for summer on the beach:

The Bag

Forget spending another day at the beach with a dead cell phone: Birksun uses the (you guessed it) sun to charge your devices. The solar powered bag converts an hour of sunshine into 18.75% of battery for your smartphone, making heading to the beach even more appealing. Hours of sunbathing and a fully charged cell afterwards? It’s like being rewarded to tan. Where Birksun stands above its competitors is that it relies entirely on its solar panels for charge, whereas others need intermittent plugging in to a wall outlet. If you’re camping, on a hike, or heading to the ocean, solar powered powering up is sure to make things a whole lot easier—with the added bonus of the bag being eco-friendly.

The Suncessory

Sure we can—and should— benefit this summer from the serotonin-magic of vitamin D (hello, good mood!), but we also need be cognizant of the dangers of harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Thankfully the tech world has dreamed up a sunny solution—a smart watch for sun exposure. One of the first, UVeBand, tracks how well your sunscreen is performing—and pings you when its time to lather up again. Another, Sunfriend, is a bright orange alternative that measures exactly how much sun you’ve received in order to optimize your vitamin D intake (and minimize UV). Time to kiss those red hot sunburn days goodbye!

The Grill

If you’ve always wanted to take George Foreman with you wherever go, the new iGrill is the perfect answer for your lean, mean, portable grilling machine needs. The contraption bills itself as the “low fat, high bandwidth solution” to networked cooking, requiring just a USB port to get going. The grill connects to your PC and allows you to download recipes online, enter in the type of food, how much it weighs, and how you want it cooked, and hey presto!—perfectly done food in the comfort of your home, office, or dorm.

The Grill Cleaner

There’s only ever one reason not to get the big outdoor grill going, and that’s the grim prospect of cleaning it afterwards. But the gods of charred meat have spoken to create the Grillbot, the world’s first automatic grill cleaning robot. With the push of a button, the motorized cleaner sets to work using rotatable brushes that scrub the nooks and crannies of your barbecue. It also has a rechargeable battery and a timer, so you can leave it to set to work and return to a good-as-new grill later. Summer just got a whole lot easier.