Dads and gadgets might not always be compatible, but they often go hand-in-hand nonetheless. If you’re planning to treat the paternal figure in your life with a tech treat this Father’s Day (16 June – mark the date!), we have some suggestions.
Parrot AR.Drone 2.0
Combined with the free iOS app AR.FreeFlight 2.0, your dad can control this AR.Drone 2.0 from Parrot simply by tilting his iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. As it flies, HD video is recorded and streamed directly to the controlling device. This video can be uploaded instantly to YouTube through the app, or captured images can be shared on Picasa. AR games available from the App Store make use of the front-mounted camera for single and multiplayer fun.
Available from the Apple Store for €299.95, the quadricopter uses embedded sensors to aid take-off and landing. You can even do a barrel roll at the press of a button! Made of carbon fibre and high-resistance PA66 plastic, it has interchangeable protective hull shields for indoor or outdoor use.
Even Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak agrees: wearable computing is the next big thing in tech. So why not show your support for Irish start-up Zband and get dad a wristband alarm that syncs up to his Android or Windows Phone smartphone.
The €39.99 rubber Zband vibrates on the wearer’s wrist to gently wake them from a peaceful sleep. It connects to smartphones via Bluetooth and an app lets the user set the alarm, or reminders to go off throughout the day.
Canon EOS 700D
The EOS 700D from Canon is the perfect gift for the dad that fancies himself a bit of a photographer. The entry-level DSLR offers continuous shooting of up to 5fps for rapid-fire action shots and an ISO range from 100 to 12,800 for shooting in tricky light conditions. Its simple shooting modes and creative filters makes it easy for beginners to get to grips with and there’s even Scene Intelligent Auto to automatically select the best settings for the scene if the user isn’t confident.
For the body alone, the 700D costs €799.99, or a kit with an EF-S 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM lens will set you back €969.99. From participating retailers, this purchase will also come with a free half-day training course from the Institute of Photography – just what a budding photographer dad needs.
Raspberry Pi Model B
If your dad’s a tech tinkerer, then look no further than the Raspberry Pi Model B. The latest iteration of the credit-card sized single-board computer comes with 512MB RAM, plus an Ethernet jack and a second USB connector, as well as the standard processors and ports.
Raspberry Pi Model B. Photo by Switched On Tech Design
Big boys like big toys and this App Blaster will let your dad relive his arcade days. Available for €23 from B Cool, simply strap in an iPhone 3GS or 4, load the app and watch as the view through your phone’s camera makes it look like space aliens are invading.
Dad will have to shoot to survive and will be able to collect more powerful weapons as he progresses through the game.
The Roomba from iRobot is a busy dad’s godsend. This vacuum-cleaning robot (priced from €369.99 on iRobot’s Irish online store) uses a patented, three-stage cleaning system, thoroughly sucking up dirt and debris from every section of your floor multiple times.
Roomba uses iAdapt Responsive Cleaning Technology and automatically adjusts to the surface it’s cleaning as it moves through the home. It can clean under and around furniture and along wall edges. Hazards aren’t a problem either, as the smart robot cleaner knows how to avoid stairs and other drop-offs and how to navigate through wires and cords. In between cleaning, it returns to its Home Base to dock and recharge.
You could even take a leaf out of Parks and Recreation’s Tom Haverford’s book, pop a speaker on there and make it DJ Roomba – best Father’s Day present ever.
iFoolish Magic Drawing Case
Give an Apple fanboi dad a chance to recapture his childhood with this Etch A Sketch-style case for the iPhone 4, 4S and 5 (from about €15 from Expansys).
The retro magic drawing board comes with a tiny embedded drawing pen, letting you sketch away, erase, and start again to your heart’s delight.
It might not be the right weather for gloves at the moment, but this is Ireland and dads here will inevitably have need for a pair of woollen mitts for at least 80pc of the year. The tips of the index finger and thumb on this Bluetooth-enabled pair from Hi-Fun (€59.99 from MobileFun) are made from touchscreen-friendly material, so no need to take them off to use your phone.
The thumb also houses a speaker and the little finger contains a microphone so all dad needs to do is make a phone-shape with his hand and he can make and receive calls through his gloves. OK, so he might look a little foolish doing so – but he’s a dad, he should be used to that.
If your dad fancies himself a bit of a 007, then why not get him a gadget worthy of James Bond. This Spy Pen (€79.95 from B Cool) looks and writes just like a regular old pen, but it houses a tiny video camera that records in full-colour with sound.
Its 2GB internal memory can handle about 15 hours of footage and, when you’re done with your covert surveillance, all you need to do is unscrew the top to reveal a USB connector for swift file transfer.
Help a golf-mad dad to improve his game with SensoGlove, the world’s first digital golf glove.
This leather glove is fitted with sensors that monitor the user’s grip and teaches them how to avoid bad habits and perfect their swing, whether they’re driving, putting or chipping.
Gifts for dad image via rui vale sousa/Shutterstock