Father's Day is this Sunday and you still don't know what to get the man who has everything? I feel your pain. While moms can be more easily distracted with something pretty and pleasant-smelling, dads are not so easily impressed (a tie, no matter how interesting the pattern, is still just a tie that reminds them of work). The thing to remember about dads is that they are never too old for toys, especially tech toys for their favorite hobbies. Show dad that you care with these fun and quirky gadgets he will love.
In no particular order, here are some of the off-beat gift ideas that have crossed my desk. Happy Father's Day!
[Handy-Dads] Tricorder-like Handheld Infrared Thermometer with LCD Display
Is your father a Trekkie who fantasizes about having a tricorder, a multi-purpose handheld device that provides data and analysis on whatever it scans? Geeks.com may have just the tool for your handy dad as long as his scanning needs are limited to temperature readings. This handheld scanner uses Infrared to determine the temperature of everything from engines, vents to even computer chips without any direct contact between object and scanner. The information is then displayed on the back-lit LCD screen. It can read temperatures between -20°C and 320°C, which makes it a handy addition to add to your father's toolbox. Available from Geeks.com, $29.99.
[Chef Dads] Grand Grill Daddy Steam-Powered Grill Cleaner
It's officially barbecue season so that means your father, the self-appointed BBQ chef extraordinaire, will be throwing all sorts of meat and vegetable onto the grill to cook for the family. The downside?Getting rid of the hard-to-clean char that gets stuck on the grill and on the food. Luckily, there is the Grand Grill Daddy, which is powered by steam and made of "Aircraft quality indestructible construction" that will make your dad much more eager to take care of his grill. Available from Amazon for $59.98.
[Superhero Wannabe Dads] Mimobot Green Lantern USB 2 Flash Drives
If your dad grew up reading the Green Lantern comics, wishing that he could protect the universe as part of the Green Lantern Corps, he would probably be proud to show off this collection of Mimobot USB flash drives on his desk. The thumb drives are available in a variety of sizes (from 2 GB to 16 GB) and come preloaded with character-specific content like wall papers, avatars and screensavers. To protect the Mimobots against scratches and dents, the company also offers a protective Spacesuit protoHoodie Keychain for the collector devices, which includes a keychain to attach to your dad's lanyard or keys for safe-keeping. Available from Mimobot.com and in select stores worldwide; $22.95 for 2 GB and up, $5.95 for hoodie/keychain.
[Golf Dads] SensoGlove: A Personal Digital Golf Coach
Is your dad obsessed with perfecting his golf swing but too self-conscious to take a couple of classes at the local club, and vehemently against practicing his game on the Nintendo Wii? Perhaps the SensoGlove will be able to help your father perfect his game. According to SensoSolutions, the maker of the SensoGlove, the most common mistake beginners make in golf is by holding their clubs in a "death grip." So the SensoGlove has built-in sensors that provide real-time audio and digital feedback on the user's grip through the LCD display, so the user can develop the appropriate grip pressure to yield the most powerful swing. Available for both left and right hands, $89 from SensoGlove.com.
[Gamer Dads] Block Notes: Tetris-Shaped Sticky Notes
You developed your love of video games through your father and now it's time you remind him of the quality time you spent playing Tetris together -- with none other than Block Notes, a pack of Tetris-shaped sticky notes designed by Cool Stuff Express Inc. The sticky notes may be filled with endless work for your dad to do, but at least it brings a bit of fun and a smile to his day. They also make for some great wall art for his office or an impromptu low-tech game of the classic video game. Available from Amazon.com for $10.95.
[Movie-Buff Dads] 3D Glasses from Polaroid
With more and more 3D movies available in theaters and at home, disposable 3D glasses just won't do for the serious movie-going dad. Polaroid just launched a line of Premium 3D glasses that are certified by RealD so are both stylish and functional at the same time. Polariod 3D glasses feature highly-efficient circular polarized lenses that are made with Thermofusion technology for distortion-free vision, and designed to extend your field of vision.I have not had a chance to try a pair on myself so I am not sure how it feels to watch a movie with two pairs of glasses but for those dads with 20-20 vsision, these may do the trick. Available from Polaroid.com, between $30 and $50 a pair.