There are gadgets and then there are gadgets. Here are a five gifts worth considering for a technology-minded father (or his wife or partner) for Father’s Day.
1. Solar Modification Kit
A Solar Modification Kit is a nifty little device that charges rechargeable AA (2) or AAA (3) in about 30 minutes using direct sunlight. This little green device is not hard to find and is a gift welcomed by and Dad (or Mom) who wants to reduce the amount of electric power they use. These kits are inexpensive (generally under $20.) and do not work with regular batteries.
2. Hubman USB Port
In the shape if s stick-figure man, this USB port expander/hub turns one USB port into four. There are literally thousands of varieties of USB port expanders on the market, but this one is especially clever in design. The four ports are the hands and feet of the Hubman. I have found them priced at between $20 and $30 on line. These make a great Father’s Day gift for mom, too, who is getting tired of hearing about how it is the men who get technology and the humor sometimes available with it!
3. Keychain Alcohol Detector
For the Dad who drinks and is sometimes tempted to drive, this little device can be a subtle, nearly invisible life saver. The size of a smallish key fob, this little breathalyzer reads out a reasonably accurate estimate of the users BAL (Blood Alcohol Level) after only one breath and a few seconds. Unlike full-sized breathalyzers, these little things generally give levels of BAL rather than a specific percentage. This is plenty good enough to know when a person is close to or over the legal limit (currently .08 in California.)
For the Dad too proud or stubborn to have one on his key ring, it is a great Father’s Day gift for his mate. These are priced from $10 to over $25.
4. Mini-Swiss Army Knife with built-in Thumb Drive
Yes, they have Swiss Army knives with more gizmos built in than we once imagined possible. One of my favorites that I use daily is a small one that has a small (256mb) thumb drive that folds out just like one of the blades. Most Dads who use a computer regularly and need to back up small files (Access, Excel and Word data) will really appreciate this one. The price will vary according to the size of the memory and other blade/gizmo options. Expect to pay between $20 and $30 for one of these.
Mom can use this, as well. She can download secret messages and reminders to dad to it that he will see when he plugs it in!
5. Laser Distance Measurer
For the Dad who fancies himself a home-grown “Bob the Builder”, this device is a welcome and soon-to-be well used tool. No more metal, spring-loaded measuring tapes snapping back in when you depress the handle or button. No more needing to have one person hold down the end while the tape is extended. A battery powered (or rechargeable) Laser Distance Measurer is easy to use and accurate. It simply emits a laser beam to a spot it is aimed at and gives an accurate digital readout of the distance between the device and that point.
This item is more expensive than the others I have recommended and can run from as little as $50 to around $100. They are well worth it if accurate measurement is of the essence and if Dad is too set in his ways to make use of it, Mom can get herself one for Father’s Day to offer when she can see that it is needed.
Any one of these is apt to be met with a little surprise and a lot of appreciation from the tech minded dad on Father’s Day.