Steve Makris’ Father’s Day Tech Picks

By Steve Makris

As a father himself, WiFi HiFi contributor Steve Makris has some great ideas for tech gifts that any dad will love this coming Father’s Day.

Father’s Day gift ideas are challenging. Unlike gifting for mom who often appreciates the gesture more than the gift, fathers are choosy on the gift’s merits. Here is a wide range of gift ideas that are sure to please the most demanding of dads. 

Philips Beard Trimmer Series 7000

This Philips Beard trimmer Series 7000 (BT7500/15) is designed for a cleaner trimming experience. Its built-in vacuum catches all the hair! The innovative lift & trim technology guides the hair to the level of the blades for an effortless even trim, so dad gets that perfect beard style. It also self sharpens while in use!

FluidStance Balance Board

Is dad a couch potato? Get him off that sofa and on the FluidStance for some healthy multitasking while watching TV. It’s a low profile, cleverly designed wobble board that works out every muscle in your body while balancing on it. I tried it while watching TV and was surprised to see 30 calories burned in half an hour! Although it’s targeted for folks who work standing on raised computer desks, I still felt invigorated using it while watching TV. Starting with a recycled plastic model for $199, for a softer ride, the much better Premium Balance board ($249) features a gorgeous wood top and designer aluminum frame. Dad will be more alert and feel better, something we all need while staying at home. The Premium Balance Board includes a plastic add-on sharper bump that makes balancing more challenging for an even more intense workout.

Meater+ Wireless Smart Meat Thermometer

The new Meater+ is the ultimate wireless smart meat thermometer for oven grill kitchen BBQ or smoker rotisserie with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Digital Connectivity up to 50 metres. The slim Alexa-capable sensor measures the cook and level of doneness, even alerting you when to take meat or poultry out of the oven or off the grill, accounting for the extra cook time once you let it rest. Dual temperature sensors can monitor internal meat temperature and ambient/external temperature simultaneously. Its advanced Estimator Algorithm estimates when your meat will be ready on your phone app screen so you can plan the rest of your dinner, even when away from home through the Wi-Fi connection. $169

Philips Smokeless Indoor BBQ Grill Avance

Speaking of barbequing, even if you don’t have an outdoor grill, dad can still be the king of barbequing inside with the legacy Philips Smokeless Indoor BBQ Grill Avance ($275). Often copied but never equaled, this grill uses safe reflected 1660W infrared technology ensuring all-side cooking on a non-stick, easy-to-clean cast aluminum grill. And it’s ready to cook one minute after turning it on. You get the typical grill burn marks on meats, poultry, fish and vegetables seared at a constant 440 °F. A removable extra-large grease tray catches excess fat. There is also a lower power setting to keep things warm. Detachable parts are dishwasher safe. Recipe book included.

Sonos Move Smart Outdoor Speaker

The Sonos Move portable speaker ($499) has the same DNA as its siblings with one big difference: it goes anywhere, including outside and where there’s no Wi-Fi. It can be part of a Sonos speaker system at home, connected to other Sonos models that provide music in different rooms via multi-speaker and/or stereo configurations. Or, use the Move on its own anywhere, streaming music via Bluetooth. It is a smart speaker, too, with voice compatibility so you can switch tracks or adjust volume hands-free. The smartly designed charger also serves as a speaker base and the battery lasts up to 10 hours.

Airthings Wave Mini Air Quality Sensor

Everyone should be concerned about air quality at home today. The Wave Mini from Airthings ($99) is a good starter for an indoor air quality companion. Featuring TVOC (Total Volatile Organic Compounds) sensors, as well as temperature and humidity sensors, Wave Mini is the perfect first step in understanding the health and comfort level in every room. With people spending more than 90% of their time at home today, it’s important to know about your home’s air quality. The small wall or table-mounted Wave Mini monitors toxins and chemicals in your air that pose a threat to your health. Using the Android or iOS app, the online dashboard features advanced analytics, mobile notifications, and tips to reduce indoor air hazards, optimize ventilation, and save energy. Bluetooth or Airthings SmartLink connectivity provides a wireless connection to the rest of your smart home. Long battery life lasts up to two years with a Bluetooth connection and up to three years with an Airthings SmartLink connection when you are using more than one AIrthings device throughout your home. 

Deco AX1800 Mesh WiFi 6 Whole Home Router

If dad is complaining about poor Wi-Fi quality at home, it’s time to get him a “mesh” networking kit. They have been around for several years, helping to spread Wi-Fi evenly throughout homes. The newest models like the Deco AX1800 Mesh WiFi 6 Whole Home Router Kit (three-pack kit) from TP-Link, feature WiFi 6, which is about three times faster than the current standard. It covers up to 5,800 square feet of space and can replaces routers and Wi-Fi extenders, with features like parental controls and Alexa voice control to do things like turn on or off a guest network. It eliminates dead zones and can connect to 150 devices with strong and reliable Wi-Fi. With easy setup and management, the Deco app helps you set up your network in minutes with clear visual guidance and keeps you in control even when you are not home. It’s universally compatible – backward compatible with all Wi-Fi generations, ideal for Internet plans up to 1Gbps, and works with any Internet service provider (ISP) modem. $400

Edifier Active Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Stereo Headphones

Too noisy at home? Dad will appreciate the W828NB Edifier Active Noise Cancelling Bluetooth round-the-ear Stereo Headphones ($130). It features a sturdy build, smartly folding to half the size with battery-saving Bluetooth 5 and aptX (for reduced signal-to-noise ratio and lower distortion). It runs for 25 hours on noise cancelling mode or 80 hours regular listening per charge.   

Need more gift ideas for dad? Check out the WiFi HiFi Father’s Day gift guide