Here are a few tech-inspired ideas for Father’s Day.
If Dad is a cycling enthusiast, you want him to be safe, especially at night. So light the way for him with a Beryl Laserlight.
This LED technology combines white light with a mini laser diode. It beams a laser image in the shape of a bicycle to the ground five metres ahead, alerting drivers that a cyclist is in their blind spot.
Laserlight has a sleek, aircraft-grade aluminum casing with a sandblasted anodized finish and diamond-cut edges. It’s waterproof, so it’s good for the cold and wet weather.
The built-in battery is rated for up to 13 hours.
It comes with a handlebar mounting kit and magnetic USB charging cable. It’s available in silver or charcoal grey and retails for $209 on Amazon.
Safe by HUB6 beefs up home security and gives Dad the gift of peace of mind.
It doesn’t replace your existing system, but it does turn it into a smart home monitoring system. It works with most Honeywell or DSC models and can be installed in less than an hour. It ties into your hardware and redirects any triggered alert to your smartphone, designated neighbour or monitoring service. You can keep your existing monitoring or eliminate the ongoing monthly fees and self-monitor.
The free HUB6 app for iOS or Android allows you to keep tabs on the home, arm and disarm, and get alarm notifications from anywhere in the world. And it works even if the power or Internet connection goes off-line.
Designed in Canada, Safe works with Alexa, Google Home, etc. It sells for $299 and is available from Best Buy.
Tiny USB-C dock
If Dad hates clutter in his workspace, consider the Plugable UD-CUBE. It’s touted as the world’s smallest USB-C docking station at 2.5 by 2.3 by 1.4 inches.
Connect an external high definition display, two USB 2.0 devices like a keyboard or mouse, a USB 3.0 device like a thumb drive and even a wired gigabit ethernet cable via a single cable.
It’s compatible with USB 3.1-C Windows, Mac and Chrome notebooks equipped with Display Port Alt Mode, meaning the USB port supports non-USB signals (see compatibility chart).
It can be powered via the AC adapter or the USB cable, so it can be used anywhere.
But UD-CUBE won’t charge your laptop while connected, so you may want to opt for the slightly larger Mini Docking Station with 85W power delivery.
Unlimited HD streaming
If basic cable is just not enough for Dad, the Roku Streaming Stick+ might be the answer. It provides access to over 5,000 streaming channels 150,000 movies and TV episodes with resolutions up to 4K Ultra HD and HDR.
Searching features by name, actor and even director help narrow your choices.
The Roku Streaming Stick+ is not much bigger than a USB thumb drive and can plug directly into the HDMI port on your TV. It features an advanced wireless receiver for better performance and stronger signal even further away from the home’s router.
It comes with a full-featured, easy-to-use remote with four shortcut buttons to streaming channels like Netflix and Google Play. And it has a mic button to search by voice.
The free mobile app for iOS and Android adds functionality. Stream videos, photos and music from your smartphone, use voice search and even use headphones for private listening. The app can also double as a remote.
Roku Streaming Stick+ retails for $89.99 and can be found on Amazon (currently $69.99) and at most major retailers.
Did Dad say, “Hey Google?”
Then he might enjoy the Ninety7 Loft Portable Battery Base for Google Home.
The sleek gadget replaces the base of Google Home. It features a magnetic attachment, eliminating the power cord and providing the freedom to move it around the house.
The base delivers rich bass and crystal-clear highs. With an eight-hour battery life, this compact device makes for an ideal portable speaker. It comes in three colours: copper, carbon or snow.
You can find it at London Drugs ($60), Chapters Indigo ($35) and Amazon ($69).
Greg Gazin, also known as the Gadget Guy and Gadget Greg, is a syndicated veteran tech columnist, communication, leadership and technology speaker, facilitator, blogger, podcaster and author. Reach him @gadgetgreg or at GadgetGuy.ca.