Aug 05, 2023
Paste Tech's 2023 Father's Day Gift Guide
What does your dad want for Father’s Day? That’s easy. Just stop asking for
What does your dad want for Father's Day? That's easy. Just stop asking for money. If you’re talking about a real gift, well, that's a bit tougher. Most dads will tell you they don't want or need anything if you ask directly. But, after years or maybe decades of support; driving you all over town, paying for that trip to Coachella, helping you with homework, watching your kids for an afternoon and painting your downstairs playroom, doesn't dad deserve something a little more thoughtful than a ‘World's Best Dad’ mug or t-shirt?
Food, booze, videogames and sports tickets are all solid bets, depending on the dad, but the whole point here is to go a bit deeper and get him something he’ll enjoy and, more importantly, use. I can tell you first hand, if I open any type of digital photo frame, engraved glass, beard kit, card game, grill caddy or Dopp kit this year, they’re going directly in the trash. (I’m sorry, family). There is even science behind the fact that garbage-tier gifts can make your relationships worse. Thankfully, Paste is here to help you figure out the perfect techy gift for any father figure this year.
Having kids is all about managing the unexpected. Whether it's an inopportune dirty diaper or scraped knee, bumps along the road of parenthood will be numerous. A strategically packed backpack is one of the best things you can get for a new dad, whether he's trekking around the city or just leaving it in his car as a backup. KeaBabies’ Explorer Diaper Bag Backpack won't break the bank at $45, looks cool, is lightweight and has a dedicated spot for clothes, diapers, creams and drinks. Load it up with a Keep Going First Aid Kit, a PackLite Firefly 2 (combo solar-powered charger and light) and some snacks and you’ll be good to go.
"Can't you see I’m on the phone?" Dad
It's amazing how working from home is the best and worst at the same time. Yes, it's fun to play Fortnite in between sales calls, but is it really worth having your kid interrupt you every five minutes? For those dads working from home, a good microphone and solid webcam are vital tools. If your dad is still working with the pre-installed setup on his Chromebook, this is an easy gift idea. San Diego-based JLab makes a wide variety of earbuds and headphones for gaming, work and leisure. Their Work Buds come with an attached mini boom mic, which can be switched to either speaker and pair well with the JBuds webcam, which has a 90-degree autofocus and a 2.1 megapixel camera.
There's something special about creating something alongside your kid, whether drawing with crayons, building a popsicle-stick castle or monstrous oddities with Legos. With PowerUp kits, you can take your paper airplanes to the next level and create a smartphone-controlled drone. The company recently partnered with Flite Test to design and create the new Lockheed Martin F22 Raptor Remote Controlled Foam Kit. The kit comes with a POWERUP 4.0 twin motor Bluetooth module, quick-connect parts and a F22 Raptor Foam shell. There are a number of different options to choose from and the PowerUp app comes loaded with different challenges and experiments for beginners.
"Lord of the Rings" Dad
Sure, there's some crossover, but many dads can be decoded by their preference between LOTR or Star Wars. We’re not here to argue, it's just science. For the Aragorn admirer in your family, we’re suggesting a flashy mechanical keyboard laden with Elvish (Dwarvish or even Black Speech). These Drop keyboards are made with heavy-duty metal and feature intricate Dwarven and Elvish characters on the keycaps. The team also created artisanal keycaps for the board—featuring three of Mordor's most menacing icons, The Eye of Barad-dûr, Morgul Fellbeast, and Sauron The Dark Lord himself. The set also includes keycaps that feature Tengwar legends with Sindarin phrases—plus Latin alpha sublegends and side-printed Latin modifier legends, which means you’ll be fluent in Elvish in no time!
Cool Office Dad
Founded in Brooklyn, New York, Tidbyt makes small LED-display screens set in natural wood. The tech pairs with an app on your phone to create a real-life widget display that can become anything from a sign, weather display, clock, sports tracker, or entertainment device. Co-founders Rohan Singh and Mats Linander, who both spent time at Spotify, said they wanted to make a device that simplified their morning routines without having to reach for a phone repeatedly.
If your dad is like me, we both appreciate a clean desk. That said, I’m always looking for a way to spruce it up while adding function and keeping exposed cords to a minimum. Oakywood is a fairly new Polish furniture company specializing in wooden, handcrafted, sustainably-made desks and accessories. In addition to sleek, modern-looking stands and docks for your phone, iPad or laptop, Oakywood has recently released OakyBlocks, a large set of wooden trays, pads and stands that connect together with hidden magnets.
From the dawn of filmmaking in the late 1800's, fathers have been making home movies. Louis Lumière filmed "Baby's Breakfast" with the Cinematograph in 1895 and, to this day, America's Funniest Home Videos is pumping out new episodes. GoPro has been around for years and their latest model, the HERO11, perfected the family camera. You can use the GoPro safely with your kids, dogs and other pets underwater and on the go. The HERO11 Mini shoots in 5.3K60 + 2.7K240 video with 24.7 megapixel stills, incorporates HyperSmooth 5.0 video stabilization and only weighs 133g.
Known for building some of the best drones on the market, DJI has an expanded camera line with beginner and pro video recording equipment. Their new DJI pocket 2 is a pint-sized video recorder that works more like a handheld boom camera. The camera shoots 4k video, 64MP photo, HDR video, and an 8x zoom. Incredibly durable, the device is also waterproof up to 33 feet.
We’re living in a golden age of room gadgets. From virtual windows and smart coffee tables to light projectors and customized neon lights, there's no shortage of choices to make your studio (whether it's a bedroom or an actual studio) shine. Nanoleaf has stepped into the forefront of innovative, modern lighting options over the last decade and now have several different shapes to customize your ideal backdrop for your Minecraft YouTube channel and/or BBQ podcast. All of the lights are easy to set up and work with a host of smart home tech. In addition to the classic triangles, Nanoleaf also makes other lighting setups like the square-shaped canvas, the wooden elements, and the sleek lines. Toss in a pair of Wayfarer Stories and dad will be ready to #influencetheworld.
Ember makes the list for Father's Day every year for good reason. The company, which makes self-heating mugs and drinkware, recently expanded into products for babies and children. In addition to the 6oz Ember cup, Ember also makes larger mug versions and a 12oz travel version that has a three-hour battery life. Got a dad that's a bit more rustic? Consider the Bripe. I don't know whether this is cool or dumb, but it's fascinating either way. The portable coffee maker is an all-in-one device that lets you take a ‘hit’ of coffee much like Sherlock taking a rip of fine tobacco.
Dana Forsythe is a freelance writer covering tech, comic books and culture. He lives in Massachusetts, enjoys photographing street art, collecting comics and can be followed via Twitter @danafour.
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