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UPDATED: Father's Day gift guide: ideas for tech he actually wants

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UPDATED: Father's Day gift guide: ideas for tech he actually wants

Make dad's car and home smarter

Finding the right Father's Day gift isn't easy considering dads either have everything they want or swear they "don't need anything from anybody this year" - and that's an exact quote.

The truth is, there are plenty of gadgets that the old man doesn't know about, as he clutches onto that AOL email address and stock of VHS tapes.

He needs this tech, but he never knew it. Make his life easier this Father's Day with gadgets that bring him into the 21st century, fresh from the 1980s as if this were Back to the Future Part II.

Automatic father's day gift guide ideas for 2014

An 'Automatic' gift decision for chauffeuring dads

Transform your dad's ride from Fred Flintstone's foot-pedaled car to George Jetson's flying car with the $99 Automatic Smart Driving Assistant.

Okay, the change won't be that drastic, but Automatic does bring the Internet of Things to the family car via a tiny gadget that fits right into the OBD-II data port.

It beams gas-saving driving feedback to iOS and Android smartphones and can diagnose and clear the check engine light in a jiffy. Dad can always pretend he knew how to fix the problem.

Crash alerts on iOS can notify the authorities and loved ones of your location, while Do Not Disturb on the newly launched Android app can silence your phone while you're driving.

Automatic's provides a safer, more informative drive, and he'll never forget where he left the car thanks to this trip logging device's parking reminder complete with a map.

Dropcam father's day gift guide ideas for 2014

Dropcam Pro to ensure you stay out of dad's stuff

Dad is older than you and has accrued a lot of so-called "valuable" belongings in his lifetime, and he doesn't want people messing with his prized possessions.

That's where Dropcam Pro comes into focus. This WiFi video monitoring camera doesn't need to be attached to a PC, as it streams its high-quality security footage through your home router.

Its free live streaming capabilities make it possible to tune into your safe-and-sound home from computers, tablets and smartphones, while motion detection send emails and push notifications.

With a subscription, Dropcam backs up this security footage to the cloud so you don't have to watch in real-time and it'll soon expand its product line with motion-sensing Dropcam Tabs.

Google is rumored to be interested Dropcam after having buying up Nest, which tells you a lot about its up-and-coming status in your emerging smart home, whether or not it's true.

Nest Thermostat

Nest lets dad always keep tabs on the thermostat

If there's one rule that's ubiquitous among dads it's "Don't touch the thermostat." It's sometimes followed by a second Fight Club-esque rule of "Don't touch the thermostat."

Thankfully, the now Google-owned Nest Learning Thermostat is the perfect Father's Day gift to destress dad. It has auto-scheduling and can learn from your habits.

This second-generation device also has auto-away and and remote control functionality, so Nest can save your family money on the monthly energy bill while on the go. Dad's not going to argue with that.

The Nest Protect smoke alarm isn't back on sale following its unfortunate recall, so this is the one Google smart home product you can buy. At least until Google IO at the end of the month.

Philips Hue

Philips Hue to 'turn down the lights'

"We don't work for the electric company" is a phrase dads echo around the world in various languages. But that old saying may eventually become archaic with smart home tech like Philips Hue.

The personal wireless lighting system has bulbs that shine in 16 million colors and wireless connectivity that lets dad turn them on and, more importantly, off to his heart's content.

Philips' app is just as advanced as its internet-connect lightbulbs. You can take your favorite photo on your iOS or Android device and sample any color so that your home is basked in the same shade.

The starter kit, which includes three bulbs and a wireless bridge, will cost more than the energy savings you reap when compared to the average lightbulb, but Father's Day only comes around once a year.

Withings body scale for father's day tech

Less of dad with Withings WS-50 Smart Body Analyzer

Dads are always trying to lose weight, and one of the best ways to help him stick to a diet is by setting up the Withings WS-50 Smart Body Analyzer in the bathroom.

This WiFi scale scale replaces that old rusty junk sitting on your bathroom floor with a clean, polished and, most importantly, ultra-precise weight and body fat measurer.

The health-focused Withings has an iOS and Android app to go along with its updated scale, and it picks up your heart rate and keeps tabs on indoor air quality.

We're not sure how well that works in a bathroom on certain Taco-filled Tuesdays, but it's a nice touch every other day of the week.

Last-minutes instant Father's Day tech gifts


Call an Audible in time for Father's Day

Looking for a last-second gift for dad or a change in what you picked out before Sunday? Call an audible with an Audible.com subscription.

The Amazon-owned digital audio bookstore has 150,000 titles for $14.95 a month, with a free book in the first month for new sign-ups. Best of all, it goes wherever dad travels thanks to apps for iOS, Android and even Windows Phone.

The only limitation is that iOS devices can't download new audiobooks from the store directly. That's per Apple's policy to require 30% of the profits from all in-app sales, so it must be done from a computer.

Ancestry subscription

Climb the Ancestry family tree

You've probably heard your dad talk about the old family tree one too many times, and he may have even attempted to map it out on paper - paper which no one knows the location of.

Bring all of that work to the web with an Ancestry.com subscription that can preserve your dad's genealogical story and help him discover your family's long-lost roots.

Ancestry.com's comprehensive records search and its ability to upload GEDCOM files will keep dad occupied for several weeks, and the site's new iPhone, iPad and Android apps make it the most technologically driven personal hall of records around.


LogMeIn for personalized tech support

LogMeIn now charges a subscription to remotely take control of computers, but the company's $69.95 a year price pays dividends when dealing with dad's computer problems.

It's more than an anywhere, anytime access to dad's PC for his personal use whenever you can take control to teach dad how to get rid of the latest virus on his computer.

It's a great alternative to phoning him and having to blindly walk him through the directions of cleaning up his computer. Show him and watch him do it, or just do it for him. It's great for parents living at a distance.

Amazon Prime box

Amazon Prime

Sure, Amazon Prime is more expensive than it was last Father's Day, but the new $99 a year subscription is still worth its weight in two-day free shipping.

On top of the speedy delivery options, Amazon Prime offers on-demand movie streaming, the Kindle Lenders' Library and the company's brand new music streaming service.

Of course, if you already have an account, you can always give dad access to the two-day free shipping with Amazon little-known family sharing feature.



Don't expect the freshly launched Amazon Music to be able to match all of dad's music tastes. Instead, give him the ability to stream millions of songs on the computer, iOS and Android devices.

Spotify does just that with its ad-free $9.99 a month plan that lets you download and listen to offline music in addition to streaming playlists on your computer and mobile tech.

Competitors include Google Music, Rdio and the Apple-owned Beats Music, but we find Spotify to be the streaming crème de la crème.

Best cameras, phones and TV gadgets for Father's


Sony RX100 father's day gift tech

Sony RX100 II to capture all of dad's memories

One of the best compact cameras keeps getting better. The forthcoming Sony RX100 III isn't out until the end of the month, but the two previous models are priced better for a Father's Day gift.

The Sony RX100 II and Sony RX100 Cybershot cameras offer near-DSLR-quality 20MP photos, but do so in a compact body.

It's pocketable in tight jeans with a little squeeze and the price is a low $548. Even if that blows your budget for dad this year, hopefully you'll have some siblings and mom chip in for this great camera.

Chromecast father's day gift tech ideas

Chromecast turns dad's dumb TV into a smart one

If you missed out on gifting Chromecast to your folks over Christmas, then Father's Day is the perfect time to deliver app streaming to dad's favorite "Do Not Touch" display, his TV.

At $35, it's the cheapest way to beam Netflix, HBO Go, YouTube, Hulu Plus and Pandora to any HDTV. It also finally has sports channels thanks to the additions of ESPN and MLB.TV.

It's missing key apps like Amazon Instant Video, which the more expensive Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku 3 and Roku Streaming Stick offer, but Google likely to announce more apps at Google IO.

Best phones for father's day gift tech ideas

Upgrade dad to iPhone 5S or a new Android

Chances are your dad is eligible for a new phone and doesn't even know it. He may not care at first and refuse to upgrade, but he'll likely love the bigger screens out there in the end.

To that point, the iPhone 5S has an elongated 4-inch display that's a major upgrade if your dad is still carrying around the iPhone 4S with its 3.5-inch screen.

If Pops is an Android user, there's no shortage of bigger and better Google-powered phones to upgrade to, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8 chief among them.

The LG G3 won't make it out in time for Father's Day unless you live in South Korea, but if dad is a back-buttons kind of guy, you can always set him up with a pre-order.

Best of all, if your dad protected his phone in an Otter case and it's still in pretty good condition, you can always help him sell it on eBay or Amazon, essentially making the upgrade free.

After all, dads always like saving money, and proving that he's passed on those pearls of wisdom may be the best Father's Day gift of all.

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