Father’s Day Ideas for the Techy Dad

The following was published in today’s Foster’s and Seacoast Sunday.

Father’s Day is just around the corner, so it’s a good time to look at some of the techy gifts that may make the dad in your life, one happy guy.

Father's day message on a white keyboard

If you do think a streaming stick would be a nice gift for your dad this year, the two best ones are the Amazon Fire TV and Roku. If you’re an Amazon Prime member, the Fire TV stick is the best option. If you’re not, try to check out both and go with the one that seems the most intuitive to use.

If you’ve got a dad into smart home technologies, there are tons of gadgets you can add to the mix. If he’s just getting started, start with a smart home hub. Check out the Wink and Samsung SmartThings hubs. Both are easy to setup and work with and support the widest array of smart home devices. From controlling lights to in-ground sprinkler systems, there’s hardly anything you can’t do. Check out the smart home display areas at local retailers like Best Buy, Home Depot and Lowe’s for more idea.

If you’ve got a dad into music, you’ve got lots of options. If a whole house music system is on the list, check out Sonos for the best wireless music system on the market today. Start with a Play 1 speaker and he can grow the system from there. If it’s more personal music that’s of interest, a nice pair of noise-cancelling headphones of a bluetooth speaker will surely be appreciated.

If you’ve got a real audiophile on your hands, complete with a collection of vintage LPs, think about a connected turntable, so he can bring those LPs into the modern digital era. Could be a fun project to keep someone busy and out of trouble.

If you’ve got a fitness-minded dad, you’ve got a lot of great options as well. For a real experience, consider gifting a membership to your local Orange Theory Fitness studio. Orange Theory combines a one-hour workout with smart tech to monitor your heart rate through the workout in real time. The data is fed to an app and email, so dad can really see his progress over time. It’s motivating, not to mention fun. If a membership is not his thing, consider a fitness tracker like a FitBit, Garmin or Apple Watch along with a smart scale to monitor weight and body fat. Especially for someone who likes to do their own thing when it comes to fitness, these devices help and make it more fun.

With summer about to arrive, a lot of people get back to reading books, especially at the beach or on vacation. A Kindle is the best way to keep dad’s library of books with him without needing to pack a separate back just to bring them along. You can even gift your dad magazine subscriptions he can read on the device.

Speaking of summer, you may also consider a smart grilling thermostat if you’ve got a foodie dad. These connect to an app on a smartphone and monitor what’s grilling so dad can get that perfect steak. I could go on for pages with more techy ideas. Hopefully, one or more of these will help your dad enjoy this Father’s Day.

Finally, a quick update on me. If you’re a regular reader of this column, you know that for the past two years, I’ve worked for a company called Onepath, after it acquired the last business I was with. I decided to move on from Onepath and as of June 1, I’m working on my own again, consulting to the IT industry and select clients. I’m excited about this next chapter in my career and look forward to continuing these columns and sharing insights into the wonderful world of technology with you. Thanks for your continued readership.

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