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Party Tech

Smart new gadgets for the tech-savvy host: DVD favors, CD invitations and more.

1 Icebox

Entertainment Center
This combination computer, television, stereo and home-monitoring system lets you use a hidden camera to spy on guests in the living room while you're prepping food in the kitchen. The monitor folds under cabinets, and if the wireless keyboard gets dirty, you can wash it in the sink ($2,300; 877-463-7637 or www.icebox.tv).

2 Sony DCR-DVD 100

Camcorder
Make great party favors with this camcorder, which records video onto a DVD: Copy it for guests so they can relive the evening's best moments at home. (In-camera editing lets you cut scenes you'd rather forget.) The camcorder even works in the dark ($1,000; 877-865-7669 or www.sony.com).

3 Olympus Stylus 300

Digital Camera
This palm-size point-and-shoot is water-resistant (so it's impervious to spilled cocktails). Since it's so small, you can carry it with you everywhere and take candid shots unnoticed ($400; 800-622-6372 or www.olympusamerica.com).

4 Epson Stylus Photo 960

Printer
Create high-tech invitations by printing photos and party details directly onto the face of a CD or DVD. Then use your CD burner to copy video onto the disk ($350; 800-GO-EPSON or www.epson.com).

5 Audio Request Tera Pro 960

Audio Server
Don't just DJ your next party—"sound-design" it. Tera Pro lets the music-obsessed select a different sound track for each room, tapping into your collection of up to 7,200 CDs worth of music. Using the Internet, you can access the music from anywhere (from $25,000; 800-236-2812 or www.request.com).

6 Dinner Party Kit

Printing Software
Avoid the expense and hassle of custom printing: This kit comes with a CD-ROM and stationery for designing and printing professional-quality invitations, menus and place cards ($50; 800-797-6269 or www.mountaincow.com).

7 Plexus

Software
Turn up the music and dim the lights using your cell phone or Palm Pilot. Plexus software lets you control home electronics, from the television to the air conditioner and the alarm system, with almost any handheld device ($300; 703-352-5615 or www.scientiatech.com).

8 Roomba

Vacuum
This robot does post-party cleanups so you can rest: It vacuums around the edge of the room, then crisscrosses the space, sucking up dirt. It also detects objects that get in its way (think stairs and stray stilettos) and adjusts automatically when it moves from carpet to wood to tile ($200; 877-855-8593 or www.roombavac.com).

Published June 2003
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