8 Father’s Day Gift Ideas for Your Geeky Dad
June is a great time to upgrade your dad’s gadget inventory, because after all, what dad doesn’t like the latest toys? Whether he’s a hobbyist, handyman, tech geek, early adopter or just a regular guy, he’s going to want to play with the latest and greatest technology.
These 8 gifts on this list should cover just about every dad, and if he’s like me, he’d be happy with more than one of them (hint, hint to my loving family and friends).
#8 Entertainment Subscription
Adding up the total cost for monthly subscription bills can be depressing. Why not surprise him by taking on the cost of something you know he’ll like, but he’s not willing to shell out yet another payment each month? Netflix, Sirius XM, MLB.tv (or any other sports package) would be a nice surprise and individually, not very expensive.
#7 Roku – We do love to watch TV
More and more people are cutting the TV from their broadband services. It’s been estimated that Comcast and TimeWarner Cable together lost over 1 million video subscribers in 2013. So how are these households watching their favorite TV shows? Many of them have purchased set top boxes like Apple TV or Roku.
What I love about Roku is there is no monthly subscription fees. Roku has forged partnerships that allows it to stream thousands of movies and content channels, it can be controlled from a smartphone or table, it can display photos and videos from a Android or iOS device and many more features. Although Apple TV is a strong contender, there hasn’t been a new release since January 2013 and there were no new announcements at this year’s WWDC, so it’s unlikely there will be a new Apple TV product before the fall. For the same price as the current Apple TV, Roku offers much more content and many more features. Prices range from about $50 – $100
#6 Wearable Health Monitor (Fitbit, Jawbone UP24)
These wearables are not a fad and this type of health monitor is being built into the next generation smartphones. The Fitbit and Jawbone UP24 are priced similarly and offer comparable features. I didn’t include the Nike Fuel Band due to rumors it will soon be discontinued. The Jawbone doesn’t synch with Windows Mobile in case that’s important to you and will only sync with a mobile device, not a computer. The Jawbone is worn like a bracelet, while the Fitbit has a bracelet model and also one that can be slipped into a pocket. Both interface with other apps that can help you lose weight, set exercise goals and share information.
I personally like the UP24 bracelet better as it has features I find useful such as reminding you to get up and move around at preset intervals. Priced from about $80 – $150.
#5 Nest Thermostat
A $250 thermostat? What else does it do?
Well, that’s about it, but what it does, it does beautifully. The premise behind it is to learn your habits and automatically heat and cool your home without having to constantly adjust or program the device. For example, if you have radiant heating, Nest knows it will take about 30 minutes to heat your home to the desired temperature so will begin the cycle appropriately. It learns what temperature you like during the weekdays, evenings, weekends and nights so you don’t have to continually change the settings. You can control it remotely via the Internet from a smartphone or tablet. And it looks beautiful and high-tech!
#4 Pebble Steel Watch
Definitely for the early adopters, the next generation Pebble watch, released later this year, offers a nice bundle of functionality although it’s not nearly as sophisticated as either a smartphone or many of the health tech wearables (see #6 on this list). It syncs both Android and iOS, it can run up to eight apps at a time and it will give him an excuse to wear a watch again. About $350.
This is certainly #1 on MY list, but I think I’m going to have to buy my own.
More than a few of my geeky friends have been posting amazing videos taken from their quadcopters and flying it really seems like a fun hobby. Some quads come with their own cameras and some are set up to use a GoPro. One of my geekiest friends uses a DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ and the videos it produces are nothing short of spectacular. About $1800. It’s worth it to watch some of their videos on their product site here:
#2 Desktop 3D Printer
While still very much a toy for early adopters, 3D printer prices are coming down and more and more digital design templates being developed, so it’s becoming easier to <cough> justify <cough> one of these for home use.
The Ultimaker 2 has jumped to the top of my list as the best in class option for home or small business use. It supports both standards for filament cartridges (ABS and PLA) and it comes pre-assembled so he can get started playing with it right away. About $3K
#1 Passenger Trip on Space-X
Let’s face it. A trip to Earth orbit is the ultimate adventure. With the newly designed Space-X rocket and passenger capsule, Elon Musk (every geek’s hero, not just the dads) has made a much lower cost trip to space possible. Anything that is now 1/3 the previous cost must be a bargain, right?
Give the dad in your life a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take a selfie from space. About $20mm, limited availability starting in 2016.
So what is your favorite father’s day gift? Something you have received or you have gotten your dad? Comment below and I would love to hear more!