Cool Gifts for Dads and Grads on SiriusXM

Hi-Tech Dads & Grads Gift Ideas

I will be broadcasting live from the E3 Expo in Los Angeles on Tuesday, June 13 at Noon Eastern Standard Time on Channel 109. 

 

News From E3

E3 is the video game industry’s gigantic annual trade show where the year’s hottest new games and consoles are demonstrated.  For a lot of Dads and Grads, E3 is the epicenter of their wish list.

Microsoft has shown off its new console, Project Scorpio (now known as the Xbox One X), which will be available on November 7.  This is the first E3 outing for Nintendo’s Switch, a gaming system that can work connected to your TV, and also as a self-contained portable system.

But, the big innovations are coming in the field of VR, virtual reality.  Currently there are three big players:  Oculus and the HTC Vive on the computer side, and Sony’s Playstation VR for gamers.  This year we’ll see Microsoft and its partners, like HP, getting into the game. 

One of my favorite products of the year is an exercise bike that works with VR to transport you to virtual worlds as you exercise!  TheVirZOOM Virtual Reality Exercise Bike and Games ($399) gamifies your workout, letting you cycle through Europe, ride on a horse in the wild west, or even fly a Pegasus while you pedal!See the games here.  You'll need an Oculus, HTC Vive, or Playstation VR to make it work.

Product links:

VirZOOM Virtual Reality Exercise Bike and Games ($399) See the games here.
HTC VIVE - Virtual Reality System ($799)
PlayStation VR ($396)

Not all Father’s Day gifts  have to cost a fortune!

 First, according to a survey conducted by eBates.com, 87% of Dads wish for some “me” time. (My guess is it is high on the list for Moms, too!)  We can give our spouses the gift of “space” without spending a penny! 

With regard to hi-tech gifting, the good news is that tech comes in all price ranges, from thumb drives and memory chips all the way up to  what my wife calls  “dream-on” gifts. 

A great gift idea is to create a family photo book on Blurb.com.  The software is easy to use and you'll be creating a gift that becomes a family heiroolm.  Prices start at $30, but the site is offering 20% off your first order.

Televisions Large and Small

You can buy a 32 inch TV with built in Roku for $250 this year.  That is an amazing value.

I think the coolest new tech right now is in projection TVs.  I’ve found two at either end of the price scale that are both amazing.

The ZTE Spro 2 ($439) is a portable projector the size of four pieces of white bread.  It can operate on built in batteries for travel, and even can connect to the internet, so you don’t need a computer. 

The just announced Dell Advanced 4K Laser Pojection TV  is a modern marvel.  Instead of a lightbulb it uses a laser to paint a 4K picture.  It is bright enough to work in a lit room, and can be positioned next to the wall and still create a giant image.  I'll be doing a full review in the near future.  

Other TV related gifts I love: 

Talking to yourself?  No, its just Alexa!

Alexa is Amazon’s home automation technology.  Originally found in the Amazon Echo, now there are dozens of devices that work with the system, letting you get information, music, and control your devices just by talking.  We may not have flying cars yet, but we can control our devices just by talking!  Starting at under fifty dollars, the Dot is the cheapest way to get started.  Here are some links to get you started.

Echo Dot ($39.99)
Amazon Touch ($99.99)
Amazon Echo ($139.99)

Sensibo Sky Air Conditioner Controller ($99) Alexa Voice Control (From $49 & up)
Serena Shades

LUTRON P-BDG-PKG1W Caseta Wireless Dimmer Kit with Smart Bridge, White, Homekit-enabled, Works with Alexa ($99.99)
Canary Camera ($167.18)
ZModo Camera ($99.99)
Roost Smart Battery ($30.20)
Harmony Elite Remote ($298)

Two Gifts for the Road  

Speaking of Alexa, the Garmin DriveAssist 51 ($299.99)  is a car mount for your Android phone that gives voice control, so you don’t need to take your eyes off of the road.

The Logitech ZeroTouch for Android ($79.99) combines GPS and dashboard cam in a single small unit. It even gives alerts of impending forward collisions and lane departures.

What about gifts for grads? 

Pens used to be the traditional graduation gift, have they gone hi-tech.

A new design called the Instrumments Dimensioning Pen ($149 and up at  https://store.instrumments.com) has a built in roller that can be used to precisely measure distances.  It posts its readings to a phone.

What about phones?

When your newly minted graduate transitions from school to “the real world” there are a lot of expenses, so this might not be the year for a flagship phone.  You can get a lot of value from smartphones that cost much less.  The ZTE 5.5" Blade V8 Pro ($229.99) has a great feature set, looks and feels great, and won't hurt so much if it gets lost or broken!

The 3 Gs: Great Gifits for Grads!  

Since there are cameras built into almost every phone today, the camera market is changing.  But, as the saying goes, “Everything Old Is New Again”!  FujiFilm has brought back the instant camera (from $65 and up)  Their latest, more expensive flagship version combines digital storage and instant film, so you have the best of both worlds.

For many, video is the new camera frontier.  Action cameras like the GoPro are huge.  Less well known, the Mevo ($399) let you turn wherever you are into  broadcast center, connecting you to Facebook and other live video-streaming services.  

The most intriguing new video development is 360-degree videos. The DokiCam 360° Action Camera ($230) lets you create images and videos that put viewers in the center of the action.  You can see examples here

While we’re talking about photography – Lots of dads (and moms) have amassed boxes of old photos and want to get them scanned.  The Epson FastFoto can scan, correct, and help you organize your photos at a breakneck speed with incredible accuracy. 

 

More ideas

TomTom Adventurer GPS Outdoor Watch + Heart Rate Monitor + 3GB Music Storage + Bluetooth Headphones ($296)
TomTom Spark 3 Cardio, GPS Fitness Watch + Heart Rate Monitor ($165)
Garmin Vivosmart 3 ($139.99)
TomTom Spark 3 Cardio, GPS Fitness Watch + Heart Rate Monitor ($165)

 

 Great Sound Choices


UE Wonderboom ($99.99 & up)
Core Fidelity ($499.99 & up)
Como Amico ($260 & up)