It’s that time of year again when I produce the HighTechDad Father’s Day Gift Guide. I do Gift Guides a couple of times a year (one around the holidays and one in June). Father’s Day is always an important time for me. It gives me an occasion to think back on my role as a dad, to think about my own father and what he provides in my life, and also to offer some suggestions for that father or dad figure in your life and how a gift of sorts may make them happy.
For me, the biggest gift is seeing my three daughters grow into adults. I’m by far not a perfect parent by any means. I nag. I yell. I get frustrated. But I also see them becoming their own individuals, striving to become independent, to assert their own ideas and willpower, to become powerful beings who will change the world. I am proud of their personal achievements, their individuality, their strengths and their contributions to the world around them.
I couldn’t ask for more.
If you have children, grandchildren, kids who you mentor, or act as a father figure as a man or woman, you should take time to reflect on your contributions. Are you a positive influence? Do you give those children opportunities to succeed? Are you a father by title or a dad by actions?
Before I go into talking about technology or gadgets or “stuff” that might make dad happy, I would like those reading this article to take a pause.
Carve time out of your busy day to listen to your kids. Hug them. Be there for them. Engage with them.
You can use technology for a connection, but don’t let it get in the way of the real relationship.
With that being said, here are a few gadgets I have reviewed over the past few months that I believe could make a dad happy…things that could bring new dynamics to the family environment.
HighTechDad’s 2016 Father’s Day Gift Guide
Without further ado, here are some things you might want to look at as you think about dad. Try to match your choices with what your dad (and I speak generically) likes. That is always important.
Each of the items below has a link to my full review so I encourage you to read through the reviews as well. And, I’m only going back to the beginning of 2016 for these items. If you want to see ALL of my reviews, head over to my “Review” category.
These items below are also in chronological order only, from oldest to most recent. And note, a few of these articles are “sponsored” meaning that I received monetary compensation for the article. But the words are mine and honest!
If you have questions about any of these items, please do leave me a comment!
The titles are linked to the reviews in case you want to read more about a particular item.
Homido VR Headset
Summary: Forget about those expensive VR headsets out there. The Homido provides a comfortable environment to consumer virtual reality or augmented reality content using your smartphone. And there is an even smaller version for on-the-go VR/AR experience. The Homido is similar to a pair of ski goggles which holds your smartphone while blocking out external lighting. Give dad a less-expensive VR experience with Homido!
Summary: Want to add an inexpensive nightlight to a bathroom or hallway? One that turns on automatically at night and practically drains little power? And one that installs in literally a snap? Check out the SnapPower Guidelight – a DIY project that practically any dad would love!
Price: $15 for the SnapPower Guidelight ($17 on Amazon)
NETGEAR PowerLine (PL1000)
Summary: Having internet connectivity throughout your home is, in my opinion, critical. NETGEAR provides a variety of options to do just this. But sometimes, you can’t run ethernet cables because it’s either too hard or not feasible. Your dad can be a networking guru with the NETGEAR PowerLine which transforms your electrical infrastructure into a network as well. Just plug one adapter into the wall next to your router and plug in another adapter elsewhere in your home electrical grid and suddenly you have a high-speed network without any wiring!
Price: NETGEAR Powerline (PL1000) goes for $69.99. It’s available for $59.99 on Amazon.
Cree Connected Light Bulbs
Summary: If you dad has already set up some sort of a smart hub (and there are many to choose from), you might want to think about giving him a bright gift, that of the Cree Connected Light Bulb. Just using a smartphone or tablet, dad can turn on, dim or turn off lights. I know I’m always telling my kids to turn off lights when they aren’t in the room. Now, with just a button press, the lights can be turned off! And they are energy-efficient!
Price: One Cree Connected LED bulb is $15 ($14.93 on Amazon right now).
CottonBrew Personal Tailor
Summary: If you are a dad like me, you don’t like going clothes shopping, especially to find something like a shirt or suit. CottonBrew is a unique service that lets you do all of the shopping online, and by just putting in some measurements, choosing styles and material, you can have a custom-made suit or shirt shipped directly to your home!
Price: Varies but is comparably priced to shirts and suits you would get at a higher-end department store.
ASAP Dash Portable Battery
Summary: Many dads like gadgets. I know I do. The problem with gadgets is that they take power to run and often it’s not convenient to find a wall plug to charge them. The ASAP Dash portable battery not only stores plenty of power to charge gadgets multiple times a day, it also has a quick-charging capability so that you can charge the battery in mere minutes and “dash” out the door.
Price: TBD currently (not available until August 2016) – sorry Dads, you will have to wait on this one!
Summary: Getting a nice pen for your dad on Father’s Day is one of those classic gifts that keeps on giving. Cross has a huge selection of options, from elegant to techy, from $100 to thousands, you can match your dad’s style with one of these pens or pencils from Cross. It’s really hard to go wrong with a writing instrument from Cross.
Price: Various depending on style, material, function and much more.
AAXA P5 Pico Projector
Summary: If your dad is a bit of a geek, or who likes watching movies or shows on his phone or tablet, you can give him a “big screen” experience when he is on the go. Whether it’s in the backyard or camping or just bringing a big screen to any room in the house, the AAXA P5 Pico Projector connects to a variety of devices and enables that large viewing experience.
Price: The AAXA P5 Pico Projector retails for $339 and is available on Amazon for $332.
NETGEAR Arlo Q
Summary: Part of your responsibilities as a dad is to provide security and protecting in and around your home. And as a parent, you really need to have the ability to keep an eye on things when you are elsewhere. NETGEAR’s ArloQ is a wired-powered HD Camera that enables dads (and moms) to watch over the home when they can’t physically be there.
Price: The Arlo Q retails for $219.99 and can be bought for $212.50 on Amazon.
Summary: If your dad is a bit stereo-typical, he likes his sports. With lots of responsibilities, dads can’t always plop down on a sofa to watch a game (unless it is Father’s Day perhaps). With the Slingbox 500, you can remotely view your live television from anywhere with network connectivity from the comfort of your smartphone or tablet. Hooking the Slingbox 500 is easy enough and once that is done, your dad can stream live high-definition TV broadcasts from just about anywhere.
Price: The Slingbox 500 retails for $299 and you can grab one for your dad on Amazon for $249.
Summary: If your dad is a Mac user, has a MacBook Pro or Air, and is running out of space on the built-in SSD hard drive, you might want to consider an incredibly easy upgrade for that SSD to potentially double the storage capacity on the Mac using the TarDisk Pear. Dad wouldn’t have to take apart his Mac, with the TarDisk Pear, you plug it in to the SDXC slot, run some configurations and suddenly there is more available hard drive space!
Price: Varies by Mac and size desired. Ranges from $149 to $399 which is same listed on Amazon. **UPDATE**: TarDisk is offering a 10% discount for HighTechDad readers! Just use this link to get 10% off up till Father’s Day 2016!
Solartab Solar Battery
Summary: As I mentioned before, gadgets need power and sometimes a wall plug isn’t always available. If your dad is more of an outdoorsy type of guy, you may want to consider the Solartab which combines a high capacity battery with a solar panel, all with the form factor of a tablet. What does that mean? Basically, camping or in an emergency, you have the ability to charge up the battery pack using the power of the sun. That is super handy in my opinion!
Price: Solartab retails for $129 and is available on Amazon currently for $119.
Pioneer AVH-4100NEX Car Stereo
Summary: A lot of dads like cars, gadgets, music and movies. There is an in-dash solution for cars that melds all of this together. It’s the Pioneer AVH-4100NEX which not only brings tons of music options, it also can bring Apple CarPlay or Android Auto to older vehicles. This dual-DIN deck brings a lot of technology and functionality to your car and trust me, it’s fun configuring and tweaking the settings to your liking. And having Siri at your beck and call and being able to respond to texts from friends and family by just using your voice, is really fantastic.
Price: Retail price for the Pioneer AVH-4100NEX (which is last year’s model) is $850 but you can save hundreds of dollars by getting it on Amazon for around $599 (or this year’s model for about $685).
Clean Sense DIB-1500R Bidet
Summary: Hmmm, how do I approach the delicate subject of restroom activities. Sure, a guy goes to his throne. Well, with the Clean Sense DIB-1500R Bidet, it can be a cleaning experience. I must say though, after having used this bidet for a couple of months, I am a convert. You can treat your dad to a clean(er) tush!
Polaris Vac-Sweep 3900 Sport
Summary: If you have a pool, keeping them clean is not always a fun chore. You can pay for a pool service to come weekly or do it your self weekly. One great product that keeps the bottom of the pool free from debris is the Polaris Vac-Sweep 3900 Sport. While not a gift for dad specifically, if he has one less thing to worry about – like a clean pool – this is a great gift idea.
Price: This Polaris Pool Sweep retails for around $900 but you can save a little by getting it at Amazon for $899 or less.
Summary: If your dad is truly a geek, a smart home nut, and/or extremely health conscious, you may want to consider getting him a Foobot. This gadget monitors the pollution INSIDE your home so that you know when the air quality is good or being impacted by something bad. The Foobot alerts you when pollution “events” occur so that you know when it’s time to air the house out.
Price: The Foobot retails for $199 on the product site as well as on Amazon.
Summary: If your family is a DISH satellite subscriber, this is a gadget that dad (or any member of the family) will really appreciate. This tiny device is part storage, part battery and part WiFi transmitter and it allows you to take your DISH recordings on the go to wirelessly stream to up to 5 devices. So, if dad wants to binge-watch his latest show when he is camping with no signal or traveling, just bring the DISH HopperGO along and stream to his heart’s content.
Price: Buy this directly from DISH for $99.
Summary: Another stereotype that dads are often hit with is that of controlling the thermostat. When it is comfortable for dad, it’s too hot/too cold for everybody else, it seems. The ecobee3 smart thermostat not only gives dad the power to control the temperature from his smartphone, it also gives him insight into which rooms are warmer or colder (because the ecobee3 comes with remote sensor) as well as access to 15 months of historical heating and cooling data for the home.
Price: The ecobee3 with 3 sensor bundle is the way to go and retails for $314 (same price on Amazon).
Johnsonville Sizzling Sausage Grill
Summary: Whether your dad is a master chef or burns water, loves BBQing or simply making Ramen noodles, being able to make perfectly cooked sausages or brats with just a push of a button is extremely nice. The Johnsonville Sizzling Sausage Grill lets chef or non-chef dads cook up brats quickly and easily. There is even a built-in thermometer to know when the sausage is fully cooked and the grill automatically shuts off.
Price: Only available currently from SizzlingSausageGrill.com for $99.98.
Sling TV Streaming Service
Summary: While this isn’t exactly a gadget, it does require some kind of device to make it work. Sling TV offers the convenience of digital TV but without satellite or cable contracts nor channels you don’t want. And the best part is, dads can stream sports, movies or shows on their devices wherever they are…in the garage, on the go or from the comfort of home.
Price: Service starts at $20/month.
Remember to take a few moments to think about your dad and what he has given to your life. And if he likes gadgets, hope this list gave you some good ideas!
Happy Father’s Day!
Disclosure Text : I have a material connection because I received a gift, sample of a product or service, and/or monetary compensation for consideration in preparing to review the product/service and write this content. I was/am not expected to return this item or gift after my review period. All opinions within this article are my own and are typically not subject to the editorial review from any 3rd party. Also, some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate” or “advertising” links. These may be automatically created or placed by me manually. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item (sometimes but not necessarily the product or service being reviewed), I will receive a small affiliate or advertising commission. More information can be found in my About page.
HTD says: While gadgets are always a great gift for Father’s Day, hand-made, written words and things from the heart will always make dads happy!