6 Tech Ideas for the
Ultimate Man Cave
Ah, the man cave. It's a place where a guy can escape, unwind, watch sports—a domain where he has total control. Tech is almost always the major player in any man cave, so to show off what's possible, we took a tired, old basement and turned it into something a little more "man-tastic". Here's how the transformation played out and a rundown of six man cave ideas to take things to the next level.
1. Build a PC Gaming Station
Multi-monitor computer gaming setups (a.k.a. battlestations) allow you to multi-task while you dominate. Play on one monitor, keep a voice chat window open on another, then pull up a web page on the third. Or with some games, like The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited, you can play on all three screens at once. To create our battlestation, we used a gaming desktop and monitors. Then we added a gaming keyboard, mouse, headset and Philips hue LightStrips for customizable backlight.
2. Set Up a Sports Alert Light Show
Ever heard of the IF app? It's pretty amazing. IF allows you to set up automated tasks called recipes. You tell IF "if this happens, then do that." And then, IF does it. There are tons of uses for IF, including sports. You can use the ESPN app and Philips hue to make the lights flash when your favorite team scores. That way, even if you're not watching the game, you'll know when good things happen.
3. Sit Closer to the Action with 4K Ultra HD
When it comes to man cave essentials, you need a TV. A big TV. But if you have limited space, this can be a challenge. Get too close and the picture starts to get all pixelated. With 4K Ultra HD TVs, the standard viewing distance rules no longer apply. That means you can fit a larger TV in a smaller space. We went with a curved 4K Ultra HD TV with a curved soundbar to match. Add Xbox One and a Logitech Harmony Remote to control it all and you've got an envy-inducing Home Theater experience for your ultimate man cave.
4. Customize a Kegerator with a 3D-Printed Tap
Is this idea a little over the top? Absolutely. First, we screwed off the tap handle on a kegerator. Then, we used design software and a 3D printer to replace it with something more unique—a retro-inspired boombox. It took about ten hours to print, not including the tiny cassette we printed with a different color of filament. No, it's not a working boombox (3D printing technology isn't that advanced...yet), but it sure makes for an interesting addition that you won't find in more average man caves.
5. Add a Smart Putting Green
Smart sports equipment is an emerging category of tech—a category that screams "man cave." So we installed a practice green and added a tiny Blast Golf motion sensor to a putter. The sensor syncs with the Blast app to give you stats like stroke time, loft, lie, rotation and more. Or record your putt with your phone and real-time stats will automatically appear over the video clip. Use it to perfect your short game or show off to your friends. Smart golf technology can help you improve your long game, too. We just didn't have enough room to put in a driving range. Maybe next time.
6. Robot Fight Club
Because boys will be boys, no man cave would be complete without a few high-tech toys. MiP robot and its prehistoric-inspired companion, MiPosaur are app-controlled robots. Think radio-controlled toys, except these work with Bluetooth and a compatible phone or tablet. Each is fun on its own, but if you have two, you can go into battle mode for a fight to the death. And by "death" we mean until one falls over. By the way, MiP robot can also carry objects, up to the weight of a can of soda. Robot waiters unite!