With Father's Day is just a few days away, it may be time to start shopping. But before you go off and buy a tie, cologne or another polo shirt, remember, dads are more tech-savvy these days. After all, he did wish you "happy birthday" on Facebook.
This year, get dad an upgraded version of something that he can actually use. So, whether your father is an outdoors man, a bookworm or loves to grill for the family, there are plenty of Father’s Day gifts for the new millennium dad.
And as for the other dads, well, now is your chance to help your father enter into our brave new world of smartphones and tablets, e-readers and apps.
This one’s for you, dad.
1) Instead of a regular watch: Pebble Watch
The Pebble Watch, what many people consider the first "smartwatch," first gained attention by pulling in more than $10 million on Kickstarter. The smartwatch connects to an iPhone or Android phone via Bluetooth and has a growing slate of apps of its own, including a cycling app to measure speed, distance and pace through GPS, and a golf range finder app that supports more than 25,000 courses.
Now, when your dad’s phone rings, his wrist will buzz. Talk about a modern-day dad.
Price: $150 (ships in Summer 2013)
Available at GetPebble.com
2) Instead of a fancy ink pen: Livescribe Sky Pen
Out with the old, and in with the new. The Livescribe Sky Pen marries old-school pen and ink with the cloud.
The Sky pen digitally captures and records handwritten notes and audio as you take notes. Dad can take notes on a Livescribe notebook, then tap anywhere on the handwritten notes to replay the recorded audio from that moment in time -- directly from the notebook. The best part is that the recorded notes and audio are automatically and wirelessly sent and securely stored via an Evernote account. Or, if dad prefers, he can plug in a Micro-USB cable and save his work to a PC or Mac.
Price: $169.95 (2GB Sky), $199.95 (4GB Sky), $249.95 (8GB Sky)
Available at LiveScribe.com
3) Instead of the standard Swiss Army knife: Victorinox Swiss Army Jetsetter Flash Drive
Swiss Army knives can be useful in all kinds of Mr. Fix-It situations, but with the Victorinox Swiss Army Jetsetter Flash Drive, dad can add some tech flare to his standard tool mix and store data files on his Swiss Army "knife" too.
The Victorinox comes with a USB memory stick (ranging from 4 GB to 16 GB) that is shock and water resistant. The drive is both Windows and Mac compatible and has a blinking LED Victorinox shield to let dad know when it's in use.
The tools include a magnetized Phillips screwdriver, bottle opener (important after a long day at work), a spring-loaded scissors, a pop-out ballpoint pen, key ring and a pair of tweezers.
While the drive comes with a two-year warranty, the metal tools have a lifetime warranty.
Price: $49.99, 16GB version
Available at Victorinox.com
4) Instead of boring speakers: G-Project G-Boom portable Bluetooth speaker
Your outdoorsy dad will thank you when he can take his G-Project G-Boom portable Bluetooth speaker on camping trips and other adventures. Not only does the portable speaker deliver a solid sound experience, but it will resist harsh conditions and hold up well to accidental bumps and dings. Dad will be glad to know that there is a rechargeable lithium-ion battery nestled inside that can power this baby for about six hours of listening time.
Available at gprojectgear.com
5) Instead of a flask: PowerFlask
With all of this high-tech gear, dad needs a dependable way to keep things powered up. The PowerFlask device looks like a leather-bound drinking flask, but what’s inside isn’t booze -- it’s a rechargeable lithium-ion battery (powered by 13000mAh), two ultra-bright, built-in flashlight LEDs with USB ports for charging as many as three devices at a time. (Whew – now we need a drink!) Devices that can be charged with the PowerFlask USB, include smartphones, tablets, e-readers and GPS watches.
Available at DigitalTreasures.com
6) Instead of a golf club: SwingTIP
No Father's Day gift guide would be complete without something to help dad break 100 on the golf course. The SwingTIP, or "mobile swing coach," is a tiny 3-D Bluetooth device that attaches to any golf club and transmits real-time swing analysis to your smartphone or tablet. The device activates your iOS and Android to video-record your swing for extra analysis, reproducing a 3-D animation of your actual swing alongside key performance metrics. The device shows you what happened, why it happened and how to fix it.
Price: $129.99, plus free mobile app
Available at SwingTIP.com
7) Instead of regular headphones: LG Tone+ Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Headset
Balancing work life and personal life can be challenging for even the most experienced dad. But this Father's Day, you can help dad stay in shape and squeeze in a little exercise time with the LG Tone+ portable headphones with Bluetooth capability.
Dad will be able to run, listen to music and answer calls all at the same time. The headset has an unusual but very comfortable behind-the-neck design and will even read his text messages out loud so he doesn't have to break stride.
Available at LG.com
8) Instead of a tool set: iRobot Looj 330
Robots can vacuum our floors and mop our bathrooms, so why not clean out your dad's gutters? The iRobot Looj 330 blasts away leaves, dirt and clogs while brushing gutters clean.
The vacuum moves forward and backward and flips junk out of your gutter, so dad won't need to. Whose dad wouldn't want a gutter-cleaning robot?
Available at Irobot.com
9) Instead of a grill: Grill Right thermometer
The Grill Right, from Oregon Scientific, is a wireless digital talking barbecue thermometer that lets dad keep tabs on the steaks without having to hover over the coals. All he has to do is enter the cut of meat and the desired temperature or level of doneness, and when it's done, the thermometer lets him know. The thermometer also has alert options to let dad know the status of the food as well, so dad will know when your Father's Day steak is almost ready, ready or overcooked.
Available at Oregonscientific.com
10) Instead of an electric razor: Dollar Shave Club subscription
Give your dad the gift that keeps on giving with a monthly subscription to Dollar Shave Club, so he'll never have to go to the store to buy razors again.
Even though this isn't quite cutting-edge technology, every dad prefers a smooth shave. He will thank you regularly when the razors are shipped to his house every month, equipped with stainless steel blades, lubrication strips and a pivoting head.
Dad can choose from a standard two-blade, four-blade or six-blade razor and can add on extras like shave butter and flushable wipes.
Price: Subscriptions are $1 and up
Available at DollarShaveClub.com