Forget socks, ties, “World’s Greatest Dad” mugs, cigars, cologne, cufflinks and other presents you might be thinking about getting for your father this Father's Day. This year you can get something he might actually want and use.
Of course, being a father brings its own inherent sense of satisfaction and reward, but that’s not to say getting a gift — however big or small — on an arbitrary day popularized by greeting card companies isn’t an appealing prospect.
Father’s Day 2016 is this Sunday, June 19 (in the U.S. and most other countries, at least — though Germany, Australia, Brazil and Liechtenstein have different ideas), and as a relatively new parent, I thought it might help some sons and daughters out there to hear what their fathers might really want this year.
Nomad Wallet - $120
Wallets are a pretty common Father’s Day present, but rather than going for something straightforward, think about what a modern father needs: power.
The new Nomad wallet may not be cheap, but it does feature an integrated 2,400mAh battery pack with a lightning cable for your iPhone (sorry, Android smartphone-using fathers) as well as built-in RFID protection to help stop your contactless cards clashing. Buying this wallet will ensure that when you really need to make that call or send that message, your father's smartphone will always be charged.
Amazon Fire Tablet - $40
As a father, one of the most crucial pieces of technology I own is a tablet loaded with cartoons for those ever-so-rare occasions when my children are not the model of good behavior.
While buying a tablet to watch cartoons may seem like more of a present for children than your father, rest assured, your father will thank you in the long run, and at $40 the Amazon Fire Tablet doesn’t cost a lot and offers everything you will need. You could even get one for each child.
OnePlus 3 — $399
One of the most important things for a new father is the ability to take photos of the kids, and nowadays that means using a smartphone. While the iPhone 6s and Galaxy S7 may have better cameras, they are also more than $300 more expensive than the just-released OnePlus 3, which offers an easy-to-use camera that crucially takes pictures quickly — a very important feature when you are trying to capture that special moment before your child decides to run off screaming in the other direction.
B&O Play A1 - $249
Buying your father an expensive Bluetooth speaker may seem like overkill when the chances of someone grabbing it and trying to fill it with sand or water are rather high. That is why the B&O Play A1 is a perfect choice for the audiophile father. Not only does it feature the heritage of Bang & Olufsen's audio quality, it is also perfect for hanging on the wall, away from the grubby hands looking to destroy it.
BBQ Dragon Fire - $60
A man sometimes needs to feel like a man, and there is no better way than appealing to his primordial nature with fire. And so this BBQ Dragon Fire is the perfect Father’s Day gift.
The company describes the device as “the most useful BBQ and fire tool you have ever owned,” and what father wouldn’t want that as a present? The device itself is essentially just a fan to “supercharge” your charcoal and help you get barbecuing in just 10 minutes.
Chromecast — $30
Fathers typically have to make a number of sacrifices, and along with giving up your time, sleep and the chance of having a clean house, you also have to give up your television. Once you have seen one episode of "Peppa Pig," you have seen them all, so if you want to make sure you can keep up-to-date with "Game of Thrones," a Chromecast could be the solution.
A Chromecast will allow your father to turn any old TV into a smart TV, streaming content from apps on your smartphone or tablet like HBO Go and Netflix without the need for any other cables. This means he can hole himself up in his room and catch up on the latest episode of "Peaky Blinders" without interruption. If he prefers music, Chromecast Audio will allow your father turn any speaker into a smart speaker and stream audio from the likes of Spotify and Pandora.
Neato Botvac Connected - $700
I mentioned that a clean house is one of the sacrifices a father has to make, so to make it easier on him why not buy him a robot vacuum cleaner that will do the work for him?
The Wi-Fi enabled Neato Botvac Connected is among the best on the market — it even has a Turbo mode — and even if it doesn’t pick up every piece of dirt, at least it will keep the children entertained for a while.
Nodus iPhone Dock (Pack of 2) — $28
Free hands are a luxury for any new father, so being able to dock your smartphone on any wall or surface could be a lifesaver.
The Nodus Micro Dock works only with iPhones and only with one of Nodus' iPhone cases too, but these little magnetic docks can be placed on any surface and allow you follow a recipe or play a video while bathing the children, all without the need for your hands.
Fitbit Blaze — $200
Being a father can be tough, and so why not give your dad a fitness tracker so he can realize just how tough it is? Not only will he be able to tell how many steps he is taking running after you every day, he will also be able to see how little sleep he is getting every night. Win, win.
The Fitbit Blaze combines a fitness tracker with some of the features of a smartwatch, and with five days of battery life, it won't require your father to remember to charge it every day.
Socks — $12
I know, I know, I said to forget about socks, but if you are buying a present for a first-time father, don’t underestimate the power of a pair of black socks that say "World’s Greatest Dad" on them. They may seem clichéd and obvious, but every father at least once in his life should be able to pull on a pair of socks and be reminded that he is indeed the world’s greatest dad.