Father's Day is just around the corner and at Tech Age Kids we've put together our Top Five Tech Gifts to celebrate Dads and their families.
Our gift guide for dads include gadgets and gizmos to help dads engage with their kids and families, like flying a drone in the park, or using a tracker for family cycle rides. Dads like toys too, so we've included techie toys, a game console game and a robotics kit to build.
- For more ideas see: Outdoor Tech Gifts for Dads
Drone - Parrot AR.Drone 2.0
Cycling Gadget - Garmin 810 Edge
Tech Toy - Sphero Star Wars BB-8 Droid
Retro Game - LEGO Dimensions
Robotics Kit - MakeBlock Robotic Kits
Drones can be very tricky to fly but they are lots of fun to watch for kids. We think a drone makes a awesome tech gift for dads which can be enjoyed by the whole family. We like the Parrot AR Drone with a built in HD 720p camera which allows you to take photos and video. The drone is controlled using your smartphone / tablet via WiFi and comes with The Absolute Control piloting mode, making it easier for beginners to start using the drone. (Trust me, flying a drone takes skill!) Parrot also have a range of kid-friendly programmable mini drones, which we've tried with our kids. For the more geeky dads there's the option to hack your Parrot AR Drone - see The Node Copter Hacker Guide
The Garmin 810 Edge Bike Computer will be a winner for any cycling mad dad. The Garmin is a comprehensive performance monitoring gadget, measuring everything from speed, distance, time, elevation, heart rate cadence, power and location. We like the fact that Dads can work out routes with the kids for family cycle rides and track their performance. The Edge 810 is compatible with optional detailed street or Ordnance Survey® maps, so it can guide your ride making navigation much easier and interesting for kids too. The Garmin will also connect with Cycling Apps like Strava to track your performance and connect with others cycle rides.
We couldn't have a techie gift list for dads without including the adorable robot from Star Wars. The BB-8 droid by Sphero is a spherical, app-driven robot offering a lot of play and fun value for dads and their kids. Not only can the BB-8 spin around your house controlled by your smartphone and scare the family pets, a recent update to the BB-8 app, let's the droid watch The Force Awakens with you. The BB-8 can listen and respond to your voice and had an adaptive personality which evolves as you interact with it. At CES 2016, we also spotted a prototype for the BB-8 Forceband which will apparently allow you to control your BB-8 Sphero with gesture technology. In our minds, Sphero BB-8 is a super cool toy which Star War fan dads will love.
LEGO Dimensions makes a fantastic tech Dad gift. It's a video game with LEGO figure add-ons that unlock extra in-game content. It has lots of different franchises, many of them will appeal to kids but there are some very parent-friendly ones too. LEGO Dimensions is a great way for Dads to introduce their kids to Portal and the classic Midway Arcade games (these are an important part of a modern kid's upbringing!) And there are plenty of franchises with cross-over appeal such as Doctor Who, The Simpsons, Jurassic World, Lord of the Rings and Ghostbusters. It's great for family play - kids can drop in and out to help Dad out. You can read our review of LEGO Dimensions for more details.
We're big fans of the MakeBlock mBot Robot for kids. But MakeBlock don't just make stuff for kids, they make fab robotics components for hobbyists and makers too. The Makeblock mDrawBot would make a fantastic parent-child project for Dads who would like to get into robotics or would like to share their existing knowledge with their kids. The mDrawBot can make four different designs including a 2d drawing bot and an egg decorating bot. It's Arduino compatible so Dad's and kids will be able to develop useful skills or use their existing knowledge.