Show your dad he’s the best or give kudos to the grad for all of their special work during the school term. Gift cards are too easy and maybe do not show how much you care. Below are some of my favorite gadgets for the Dad who may be hard to shop for. If the grad is taking the summer off to travel, these are excellent gifts for them too.
Fuse Chicken first interested me as a technology accessory maker when they introduced their Titan Steel cable. Ever since, their attentions to detail, craftsmanship and customer service have made it easy to recommend them on many occasions.
I recommend these hardened docks and cables made of steel mostly to those that drive for rideshare services. I went on an Uber ride a few years ago where the driver’s iPhone shorted mid-trip due to a broken and faulty Lightning cable. The Bobine Flex doubles as a Lightning dock and cable, perfect for setting up in your vehicle or a desktop charging stand.
Android smartphones with Qualcomm’s Quick Charge technology are beginning to take over the marketplace and for good reason. Quick Charge 3.0 can charge a phone from 1% to more than three quarters in about 15 minutes.
Most charging docks only offer one QC compatible USB port or none at all. Choetech’s desktop charger doubles up on the technology with two QC USB ports and four auto power sensing USB ports for all of your other devices. It can even charge an older iPhone or iPod too.
Traveling with an iPhone while playing games, using Google Maps, hailing rides from Uber and Lyft, can lead to a dead battery in less than a day. If you have a flight in between all of that, forget about arriving to your destination with enough juice to check your email. I have used multiple myCharge batteries over the years and their Hub Plus C is my favorite so far. It includes a wall plug to power devices while charging its own battery, it has integrated USB C and Micro USB cables, a USB type A port and Quick Charge 3.0 charging technology.
With a micro USB to Lightning adapter, I was able to get a full day’s worth of use out of my iPhone, while doing everything that I need, including marathon sessions of Pokemon Go. It is small enough to fit in a pocket or messenger bag. I found that it charges itself from the wall port in about two and three quarter hours.
The situation with checked, a carryon and personal bag, while flying, has reached a level of ridiculousness that is unfathomable to those of us who were flying pre 2000. Some low cost airlines are charging per checked bag and per carryon bag. The fees are endless it seems.
Thankfully, WaterField Designs has created a very durable and impressive set of carryon bags that are security friendly, size compliant, they nest into one bag and offer the ability to charge a laptop, while still inside of the bag, for protection. The Air Porter has collapsible side pockets for quick transport of water bottles, an internal key tether, a rolling luggage strap, padded compartments, is spill proof and allows for the stuff to be accessible with a single zipper.
Traveling with a single roller bag is difficult because access to the charging adapters and cables is nearly impossible without unzipping three quarters of the bag. The Air Caddy, that nests inside of the Air Porter, has several small compartments and has a padded pocket for a small tablet or smartphone.
I like the ability to keep everything in its place, while in my seat, so I do not forget anything on my quick departure out of the airplane. The golden lining that WaterField Designs is known for continues inside of the Air Porter and Air Caddy. There is no mistaking its quality after having so many cheaper bags fall apart, even during shorter domestic trips.
Heading out on the road during the summer with a personal vehicle can be tough with thousands of miles in front of you and in the blazing heat. Sometimes older car batteries need some help with starting in overly hot environments or if you forget and leave a light on overnight.
The Audew jump starter backup battery is ready to tackle both of those situations and save you money from calling roadside assistance. The package comes with everything that you need to jump start a car, including specialized jumper cables. This battery is great for trips in rented cars too, as rental car companies are pre-charging for roadside assistance. Charge it up before you leave on your trips and travel with piece of mind.
Getting the right shot with an action camera is so much easier with a motorized gimbal that has been engineered to take out the jitters that you would normally see with similar devices.
Feiyu Tech has recently introduced their newest G6 gimbal for multiple action cameras including the Hero 5, Hero 6 and Yi Technology’s 4K. Its 5,000 mAh internal battery has a micro USB port on the side that can charge your action camera while recoding longer videos. A small OLED screen shows you exactly what mode it is in and how much battery is left.
OWC makes quality docks for the Mac, MacBook family and PC computers. The laptops from Apple come with a minimum of ports, like one USB Type C on the MacBook for all power and connectivity. If you want to plug-in any of your devices like the iPhone, the MacBook would then be running off of its battery. Since that is not an ideal situation, a smaller more portable USB-C travel dock is now available from OWC.
It comes with two USB 3.1 Gen 1 USB Type A ports, a USB-C 60W capable port for power, an SD Card Reader, HDMI 2.0 port that supports 4K display resolution up to 4096 x 2160 at 30Hz and is compatible with all Thunderbolt 3 equipped Macs and PCs. The SD card reader is perfect to backup those important event or vacation shots. They come in multiple colors too.
Drones are some of the coolest personal aviation crafts out there. The PowerEgg from Power Vision takes drone design and technology to the next level. This is a serious drone that can compete with the more expensive models from DJI. I have visited DJI’s HQ in Shenzhen, China and I did not see anything like this while I was there.
I first saw how the PowerEgg captures the attention of those around it while in-flight, recording 4K video and when landing during CES. It comes with four motors with large fold out blades, four landing legs and a stabilized 4K camera that can rotate in 360 degrees while in-flight. It has multiple flight modes available in its free app, beginner and professional, which becomes available after you have spent enough time flying it.
Its controller has upgraded wireless technology to avoid interference from standard 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz Wi-Fi signals, and a charging system that can charge all aspects of the drone and controller at once. It comes with a removable battery core that can be easily swapped. The free app is available from the respective app stores to fly it with an iPhone or Android smartphone.
You will need to register this drone, in the United States, with the appropriate government agency and pay a small license fee. The registration information will need to be attached to the drone and you will have to agree to all terms and conditions before flying it. This was certainly the most unique and exciting drone I saw at CES and have had the pleasure of using.
The second generation Wyze home security camera takes everything that was wildly successful with their first camera and expands it to 1080p HD video recording and keeps its amazing price. According to Amazon, this is their number one best selling camera in their surveillance and security camera category with over 1,000 reviews.
It offers free 14 day rolling cloud recording for alert videos, motion tagging in live and recorded video, two-way audio, night vision for up to 30 feet, local recording to micro SD card (sold separately, check out Kingston’s micro SD card video ) and a free downloadable app for the iPhone and Android smartphones. It requires a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi connection and can be mounted with the included magnetic wall or ceiling plate.
Jabra continues to engineer some of the best audio headset gear for your computers, tablets and smartphones. Their 65t all wireless system allows you to enjoy a completely wireless experience. Unlike Apple’s wireless earphones, Jabra’s offers so much more. Its four-microphone system nearly eliminates noise around you for the best call and voice quality. I often find myself talking with people while in moving vehicles. Road and wind noise can often make it difficult for the people on the other end to hear what I am advising them about. Put your best self forward, even over the phone, with Jabra’s 65t wireless earphones.
Compatible with Apple’s iPad, this third generation all wireless system relies on Bluetooth 5.0 to prevent audio clipping. They provide up to five hours of use on a full charge. Use its included battery carrying case to fast charging the earphones. Get up to one and a half hours of use on 15 minutes of charging.
Western Digital has refreshed their line of NAS drives for the home and small business. Their newest My Cloud Home Duo 4TB offers a live secondary hard drive to immediately provide a second layer of backup protection. We all know a “gadget geek” or two – the ones juggling four different devices on their days off and their files spread across them, myself included.
WD’s My Cloud Home Duo is the perfect gift for the digital hoarder in your life (whether they’re swimming through years of coursework or several camera rolls worth of family photos) an easy way to organize and manage all of that content in one central place, with access to those files from anywhere with an internet connection.
OmniCharge’s portable backup batteries have been my best pick from CES two years in a row. With so many portable batteries out there, how could theirs be better than the rest right? Let me count the ways. It fits in the palm of your hand, has dual USB C ports, two fast charging USB ports, and its OLED screen shows you what is happening with the battery, without having to guess.
Both USB C ports can output a total of 100W, 60W from one and 40W from the other, 25W from both USB A ports, 15W from one port, and 10W from the other. It can handle 45W input from a USB C charger and can act as a USB C hub for file transfers.
It fully charges itself in about three hours and its kicker feature is pass-through charging. Its specialized hardware and firmware solution gives you 12 layers of power power protection. Power up the iPhone, Android smartphones, action cameras and even a MacBook, with this OmniCharge battery.
Braided USB cables with metallic ends can handle a lot more use than the cables included in a smartphone or video game package. Choetech currently has a value price on its cables making sense to pickup a few for all of your USB Type C devices.
I have used these on many trips and they have yet to break even after coiling them in a bag while attached to a backup battery. Metallic ends should provide years of protection from drops and accidental breakage over the quick-failing plastic cable ends.
I am all about stress-less travel. Native Union’s Lightning Belt Cable gives me the flexibility to have a sturdy and braided Lightning cable on my person at any time. This is important for the times that you might be attending an event and have a backup battery in your pocket.
Carrying a cable and the phone in one pocket can get a little overwhelming. Knowing that you have access to a high quality cable for charging can also ease charging anxiety too. Native Union makes great accessories for your smart gadgets, check out some of my other unboxing videos of the USB-C Night Cable & Qi Charging Base and Key Belt Cable & USB-C Cable here.
An integrated camera in a pair of sunglasses might not be the best idea, but a modular system, like the PogoCam wearable is a much better option. This camera magnetically attaches to your glasses on the side and offers 5MP photo and 720p HD video recording. It can snap and store 100 photos or six 30-second HD video clips.
Its accompanying case can charge the PogoCam in about 35 minutes, transfer photos and videos from the device and store them for moving those files to a computer later. The case can charge the PogoCam up to three times, store 16,000 photos or 180 30-second HD videos. Photo and video quality all depends on the lighting, which is true of all cameras.
The better that the subject is lit, the higher the quality photo or HD video you will get with the PogoCam. This is meat to quickly record those moments that you may not have your phone available for or want to be hands free. I like that this camera provides a flatter personal point of view than with most action cameras. It has a lens with 74-degree diagonal field of view to 60-degree horizontal field of view. It has an IP4 rating for water and sweat resistance. Use its wireless Bluetooth technology to transfer photos to your smartphone for sharing on social media.
The first gen GNARBOX is a rugged portable backup and editing system for your camera. It is perfect to to backup your shots, edit and share footage anywhere via a smartphone app.
It offers USB 3.0, microSD and SD ports to connect your camera to quickly access and manage content. Connect an external hard drive for additional space. It is shockproof and dustproof with a very sturdy port cover and is ready for your summer adventures and beyond.
Protect your boys with an anti-radiation mesh built into the front pouch. With multiple devices in our pockets, a MacBook on our lap and countless other high-powered radio waves surrounding us everyday, this is modern man’s first line of defense. Their waveproof boxer briefs were tested and certified by MET Labs, USA, the leading laboratory in electromagnetic waves research. The patented WaveStopper technology is a high-tech fabric, which incorporates pure silver fibers within the cotton of the boxers. This acts as an electromagnetic shield that is rated to block 99% of all cell phone and Wi-Fi radiation.
These boxer briefs are more important than ever with the advent of 5G cellular and 802.11ad Wi-Fi in the home. If you often fly internationally, imagine the amount of Wi-Fi and ambient radiation you are exposed to over a 12 to 16 hour flight. They offer sizes from small up to 2x. The silver lined boxers naturally offer an anti-bacterial and anti-odor barrier too. The material feels nicer than cotton and has held up nicely through many washes. Be nice to your guys and get multiple pairs of these top tech boxers.
Ultimate Ears does it again with their MEGABLAST Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and Amazon Alexa enabled speaker. I first became aware of UE speakers many years ago while attending a technology event. I heard one of their original speakers get louder but still remain completely clear. I have been a fan of Ultimate Ears portable speakers ever since. Beyond the voice assistant feature, it offers one of the best sounding, room-filling speakers.
Are you all about the bass? So is the MEGABLAST, with deep and rich bass for all of your favorite tracks. It is IPX7 waterproof rated and comes with a battery rated at 16 hours of playback to take with you on those day and night trips. Get the optional charging base and connect it to a Wi-Fi hotspot to utilize its Alexa voice feature.
Anker, the maker of Roav gadgets, now offers an Alexa-enabled voice assistant dual USB car charger. This one device can charge your phone, a tablet and link to it via Bluetooth to offer a voice assistant experience that is similar to a home Alexa enabled box. Setup the Viva with the Roav app and choose from any of 25,000+ Alexa skills. Get directions to your favorite store, order a pizza and so much more with the Viva.
For those of us who have integrated Amazon products and services into our lives, the Viva provides a last mile extension to those vehicles that may not already have it built-in. Two fast charging power ports are great to help keep a phone topped up while making runs across town or on longer trips.
Tile is synonymous with short distance trackers for bags, luggage, wallets an important personal items. One of the coolest features of Tile is that there are so many users running its app with Bluetooth, if your lost item comes into contact with a lost Tile, it will alert the person that it is lost and who to return it to.
Tile has several product partners that integrate the locating service within headsets and more. This gives people who have lost something an even greater chance of it being discovered and returned. The original Tile looks nice but the Style and Slim are my favorites. Tile now offers bundles of trackers, which makes the most sense.
It also works the other way around. If you loose your phone within the 100 ft Bluetooth range, double tap on a Tile attached to a key ring for instance, and even if your smartphone is on silent, it will ring. For the price of one or two Tiles, it’s a small price to pay to find a $1,000+ iPhone X.
Traveling with a wall charger often means either a large box that attaches to a wall plug or a small wall plug and a thick cable connected to a USB charging box. VogDuo has engineered a half-inch thin, 30W, 270-degree swiveling wall charger that incorporates three USB ports. 30W is a lot of power for three USB ports. That is enough to power up multiple tablets at the same time. This wall charger fits nicely into my small WaterField Designs Air Caddy, as showcased above.
The Dads and Grads will be ready to hit the road with all of the gear they could need this year. They will have an elevated sense of style if they choose to go with the WaterField Designs Air Porter and Air Caddy bags. Nearly everything can be used for travel and to keep gadgets going all day. The OmniCharge battery, in particular, is amazing with its small size and charging capabilities. Say thanks with one or several of these ‘21’ best Dads and Grads gifts.
Disclosure: All products have been supplied or loaned at no cost for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.