Tech gift ideas for Father's Day

(Fotolia)

(Fotolia)

Syd Bolton, Special to QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:56 PM ET

With Father’s Day coming up, you might be thinking about what you can get for that special person in your life. Whether it’s a father, brother, spouse or even yourself, I think we can all agree it’s enough already with the ties and the socks. We can get those anytime, especially at Christmas. Instead, why not consider looking at some technology-related gifts that would be a much better fit?

First up there are the new products from Zepp.com that can improve your sports experience. There are sensors for baseball, golf, and tennis. I recently had a chance to experience the Zepp Golf product and I am impressed. This series of sensors helps you track and improve your swing no matter which sport you prefer. In the case of the golf product, it attaches to your glove and measures your speed and swing and offers suggestions for improvement.

The product is very light (I didn’t even notice I was wearing it) and tracks 1,000 data points per second and wirelessly transmits the information to your smart phone for viewing and analysis. You can see a three-dimensional representation of your swing and find out where you need improvement. The other sports option offer a similar tracking and viewing experience.

Secondly, if you are thinking about getting a new phone for dad, I’d highly recommend the Sony Xperia Z2. The phone itself is Android-based but, for me, the killer points are the camera and the size. The 5.2-inch high-definition display is nothing short of glorious but the 20-megapixel camera is the best I have ever used on a phone. Not only does it take incredible stills, but as a camcorder it can record 4K videos which are likely better than your television can even display. The fact that it’s also waterproof and features a hefty battery seal the deal as a great choice to convince dad that his old flip phone has to go.

If dad has been playing video games since the days of Pong perhaps it’s time for an upgrade to something newer. It’s hard to go wrong with any of the newer consoles. Nintendo's Wii U has been struggling but the upcoming release of Mario Kart 8 (with a free bonus game for everyone available to the end of July) is sure to help boost sales.

Sony's PlayStation 4 continues to be the strongest contender so far in the console wars but don’t ever count Microsoft out. Its Xbox One has seen a recent $100 price drop as management has decided to remove the Kinect sensor. Time will tell what overall impact this will have on the system, but many hardcore gamers seem to agree that Kinect is good but isn’t the peripheral that many hoped it would be.

Perhaps you want to get something a little more practical? How about a smart thermostat? Although it might not sound like a "sexy" gift, the Nest smart thermostat is a learning device that connects to your smart phone and could save you hundreds of dollars a year in energy costs.

By understanding your choices about temperature preferences and when you are home and not home, Nest makes adjustments with your furnace and air conditioner to give you the ultimate home comfort temperature while saving you money during the times you are not home.

Google thought the product was so good it bought the company for around three billion dollars. What it did for the thermostat, it is about to do for the smoke detector, and you can check out a preview below.

These are just a few ideas of what might make a great gift for that special person in your life that seems to have everything. While these are not inexpensive gifts, if they are outside your budget you can always consider a funny e-card. Someecards.com has a Father's Day selection that is not traditional but might be a great fit for that special person in your life.

As always, spending time together is the greatest gift of all.

Syd Bolton is the curator of the Personal Computer Museum and the manager of Information Technology at ACIC/Methapharm. You can reach him via e-mail at sbolton@bfree.on.ca or on Twitter @sydbolton.

 

 


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