Fatherly

Holiday Gift Ideas for the Wired Dad in Your Life

Got a dad who never said no to a cool new gadget? We've got the guide for you.

By
Oct 15 2019, 2:07 PM

Dads who love tech like to tinker, tweak, and plan ahead. They enjoy transforming a living room into a home theater with a voice command or making their family safer and more efficient with a clever array of products. They like the possibilities that new gadgets bring and are always looking to see what’s on the other side of the tech mountain.

That is to say, they are not easy to shop for.

Just because your dad loves tech doesn’t mean you can pick a random gadget off the shelves and call it a gift. That’s OK. We’ve curated a list of gifts that are dad-approved and wired. Have at it.

This is the VR headset we've been waiting for.

VR headsets may seem passe just a few years after their launch, but the newly-released Oculus Quest is making them cool again. It’s an all-in-one gaming headset that can be used without a computer, but it’s still powerful enough to play immersive games with the included controllers and watch streaming video in a whole new way. No matter what your dad is into — sports, sci-fi, Scorsese — he’ll love watching it on the Quest, because what parent couldn’t use some alone time?

A smaller, stronger portable-only version of the game console.

Nintendo figured out that lots of folks were using their Switches almost entirely in handheld mode, so they created a new version of their blockbuster console that ditched the TV connectivity. If your dad finds himself with long stretches of waiting (all-day band competitions, bus rides chaperoning field trips—you get the idea) it’s a great choice. The Switch Lite still plays the same games but does it with a more compact, lighter package. It also has a full D-pad (finally!) and costs $100 less than the original.

A wall-mounted exercise coach that feels like it's from the future.

There’s no law that says being into tech precludes anyone from staying in shape. If that sounds familiar, this futuristic workout equipment is a great choice. On the wall and off, it looks like a typical mirror, but turn it on and it becomes a Wi-Fi-connected display that will let your dad participate in personalized, real-time workouts at home, tracking his heart rate and workouts, from pilates to yoga to boxing, in real-time. It’s much easier than going to the gym, which lots of dads don’t have time to do anyways, and with New Year’s resolution season coming up, the holidays are the perfect time for a new fitness gadget.

This genius smart home controller puts all your smart devices on notice.

Your dad might have an elaborate smart home set up already, but does he have a sleek, elegant way to control everything at once? The best way to turn a hodgepodge of connected devices into a unified home is with a smart home hub that installs directly into the wall, combining tech and home improvement in a dad-approved way. It can control a long list of different devices, and it puts everything at your dad’s fingertips in categories—lights, music, climate, locks, etc.—that are more intuitive than the jumble of apps on his phone. And speaking of phones, Brilliant’s hub comes with its own app (of course) that replicates the experience of using the device wherever your dad happens to be.

The best ereader money can buy.

Most Kindles are small and cheap, ways to get people invested in Amazon’s ebook ecosystem with minimal investment. But if your dad already loves his Kindle—or just has a taste for the finer things—the Kindle Oasis is a great gift. It’s the thinnest and lightest Kindle that, somehow, also has the best display and longest-lasting battery, and there’s even an included leather charging cover that can boost that to months. The backlight is also great; it automatically adjusts to surrounding conditions so text remains readable even in sun-drenched conditions. Oh, and it’s waterproof, so when summer rolls around it’s perfect for poolside reading even if the kids want to get in some cannonball practice.

Sponsored by Xfinity xFi
Change the way you WiFi.

Whether you’ve just moved or are looking to upgrade your home Internet, Xfinity xFi has what a family needs. xFi gives you ultimate control of your in-home WiFi with technician-free setup, reliably fast speeds even during peak hours, and the ability to pause WiFi on any connected device at any time. Getting the family together for dinner has never been easier.

A fitness tracker in a ring, so your dad's wrist can stay stylish.

There are more smartwatches than ever before, but if your dad prefers a traditional timepiece he can still get all of the activity- and sleep-tracking data he wants with this ring. It’s waterproof, can work without a phone, and can go three days between charges, which is great because your dad will want to keep it on to track his sleep, even if he has a newborn and sleep isn’t something he’s getting much of.

Endlessly configurable light panels that can do pretty much anything you ask them to.

Every time we think smart home devices have reached their zenith, something interesting comes out to grab our attention. Case in point: these “modular light squares that offer endless design possibilities.” Instead of smart bulbs, they’re panels of light that can be set up a million different ways (seriously, check out the pictures, these things are wild). But no matter how or where he installs them, your dad will enjoy controlling them with his smart speaker, the specialized app, or IFTTT functions, which can do things as simple as turning the lights off when you leave or as complicated as turning red when the air quality is bad.

A personal, internet-connected weather station for the backyard.

When it comes to weather, you want the most local information possible. And what could be more local than a weather station set up mere feet from the house? Out of the box, this thing can measure temperature, humidity inside and outside, barometric pressure, sound levels, and air quality. It’s also compatible with accessories that measure other stats like wind speed and precipitation. For dads who aren’t yet old enough to feel weather in their bones, this system is a much more high-tech and, let’s face it, reliable way to know if you need to wear a jacket or not.