Did Father's Day kind of ... sneak right up on anyone else this year? I'm not sure how it's possible that it's next weekend, being as how that would imply that we're halfway through June, and I don't know about you, but I call B.S. on that.
Anyway, if you've got a little last-minute shopping to do, I've got some very cool suggestions for the techie dad in your life. Not only are they awesome gift ideas, if I do say so myself, but everything's under $50. You may be bad at calendars, but by god, you're fantastic at budgeting.
Here's my list of top 5 tech gifts that will warm dad's heart (without breaking the bank):
Custom-Created Photo Books. You just can't go wrong with a keepsake like this, especially if you take the time to pick out some of your favorite shots of dad with the kids. I'm personally a big fan of Shutterfly for the quality of their printing and fast delivery, and they have a handy tool that lets you import tons of images directly from Flickr. If Dad is an Instagram fan, Keepsy looks like an intriguing option for turning those quirky cameraphone shots into online or printed albums. FlipClips also lets you make a custom flip book out of a short video—a few years ago, I made one out of a video of my husband playing with our then-baby. Cute.
Cost: from $13; price varies
Woodees Earphones. For the discerning music fan, Woodees feature "natural wood housing for deep bass performance, full range timbrek, and noise isolating inner ear fit." Blah blah solid construction ergonomic blah whatever, these things just look awesome. Super stylish, highly reviewed, and best of all, priced much lower than most high-end earphones.
Cost: currently on sale at Amazon for $42
Personalized iPhone Cover. Uncommon makes amazing iPhone and iPod cases, and for $35, you can upload your own image for a customized case design. You could use his favorite family photo, or even something like a just-for-Dad drawing from the kids. Uncommon uses a printed process called 3D TATT™ (Thermo-Active Transdermal Technology) to transfer the ink deep into the case’s surface, so it should hold up from being shoved in someone's pocked, gnawed by a toddler, etc.
Wireless Talking BBQ Thermometer. We have one of these Grill Right Wireless Talking Thermometers and LOVE it. Basically it's a thermometer that lets you remotely monitor whatever meat you're cooking: you put a probe into your food, and a sensor lets you know the current temperature. Once it's getting close to done, the sensor beeps and a pleasant robot voice tells you your entree is almost ready. Dad can throw a steak on the grill, then walk away until the sensor reminds him that the goal is medium rare, not charred to a crisp.
Cost: on sale at Amazon for $40
Best Tech Prank of All Time. ThinkGeek's Annoy-a-Tron is a ridiculously fun little gadget designed specifically to, well, annoy. It's essentially just a thin electronic chip that generates a short, irritating beep every few minutes. The idea is to find a good hiding spot (it has an embedded magnet for this purpose) and turn it on, then sit back and watch your hapless target pull out their hair trying to figure out where in HELL that sound is coming from. Perfect for dads who like driving their coworkers up a wall.