Fathers Day is right around the corner, and if you’re anything like us and wondering how that snuck up on you, not only are you not the only one, but you also have a list of bits and bobs that’ll make your old man smile.
Does Dad enjoy time in the kitchen over everything else? Awesome, because there are a few gadgets you can whet his palette with.
Sunbeam Big Fill Toastie
Price: $45 for two sandwiches; $70 for four sandwiches;
The jaffle is about as Australian as it gets, and no one makes it like your Dad, so why not up his game with a proper modern toastie maker?
That’s what you get with the Big Fill, a large toastie maker that offers deep cavities for you to pack in large sandwiches, filled with all manner of toppings. Cheese and ham or cheese and tomato are the basic ones, but if you want to fill up and potentially burn your mouth, you can grab the canned spaghetti and go for your life.
SodaStream has been around long enough for most people to know what it is, but just in case you’ve forgotten, here’s a quick primer: bubble drinks made with tap water in the space of a few seconds.
Essentially, you’re carbonating bottles of water yourself, making soda water super fast, and then adding your own syrups afterwards, and that’s where it gets fun.
While it can be nice to make your own sparkling water, and while it’s great fun to make your own ginger beer or orange drink, you can even take fruit or spices and boil up your own cordials, mixing them with the sparkling water that has just been made.
That means Dad can experiment in the kitchen with some playful things like watermelon soda or his very own sarsaparilla, encouraging inventiveness with bubbles.
The coffee pod machine isn’t for everyone, but what about when it’s doing something that other coffee pod machines can do, like making coffee in the car?
Then the coffee pod machine is worth talking about, and that’s what you get with Lavazza’s EspressGo, a rather unorthodox take on the instant espresso machines.
For this one, you rely on a thermos-like gadget powered by your car’s cigarette lighter to make a cup of hot espresso, pouring it into a small cup that the gadget comes with.
The EspressGo relies on Lavazza’s A Modo Mio system, with the pods available from supermarkets across Australia, so you won’t have to line up for pods at a specialty store.
Sharp Slow Juicer
Ask any juice fanatic about the best kind of juice technology out there and they’ll say slow juicing or “pressure juicing” is where it’s at.
For those who have never heard of it, this is basically where you crush the juice out of fruit using large mechanically winding objects, pulverising the liquid out of the fibre instead of slicing the juice out with conventional blade-based juicers.
While the jury is still out on whether this actually leaves more vitamins in the juice, we can tell you that it definitely gets more juice out of the fruit, which one could argue in turn provides more vitamins due to there being more liquid altogether.
What we do know, however, is that Sharp’s Slow Juicer is one of the better ways to get into slow juicing, and is even more compact than some of its competitors, too.
Breville’s The Boss
Breville’s take on the everyday blender might have an unusual name, but it’s one of those things that screams its dominance on the kitchen, setting it out the moment you open the box.
“This is The Boss,” it says, “and what it will do is ideal for someone who commands their kitchen.”
As such, this isn’t your ordinary blender, offering up the ability to make nut butters, green smoothies, mayonnaise, and more thanks to a special blade and bowl system that turns any ingredient to something so small it may as well be liquid or powder and nothing in between.
For those people who can’t live without green smoothies, this is one blender that even supports that feature as a function.
Whether the parental is into a lot of fitness or none at all and you’re politely jabbing him with a stick, we’ve dug up a few gadgets for you to be inspired by when it comes to Fathers Day shopping.
Jawbone Up Move
Need to get Dad off the couch and moving, but don’t want to pay too much? Awesome, because that’s exactly what this little circular gadget is for.
It’s barely bigger than a button, and yet can be worn on the wrist, providing an easy indication as to how much your old man is moving throughout the course of a day, while also working as a wrist watch.
Better, if you have your own Up device — say a smartwatch with the Up app or another Jawbone Up gadget — you can connect with him on the Up social network and challenge him to step duels, which should encourage him to move more if only to put you in your place.
There’s a distinct possibility that your father is already part of the whole “get off of the couch” movement that fitness gadgets have helped to kick off. If he is and he’s using a Fitbit, the Aria WiFi scale might be an ideal gift.
In fairness, handing someone a scale might not be the nicest way of saying “Happy Dads Day”, but this might end up providing him and anyone else who loves him a better picture of his health than just assuming he’s good because he gets out of bed every morning.
Thanks to the modern smarts of today, you’ll find this little scale can track weight, body fat percentage, lean mass, and more, with this information available in interactive graphs, and you could even show this info to someone more knowledgable like a doctor.
Jabra Sport Coach wireless in-earphones
So your Dad might not just be lightly into fitness, but into it in a big way. No worries, that’s cool, because what if he’s into running every day, and what if he’s into training himself and keeping his body in tip-top shape?
One gadget comes to mind in this situation, and it’s a pair of in-earphones from Jabra.
These are the Sport Coach, a pair of Bluetooth in-earphones meant to tell you how you’re going as you run, while also providing you a bit of an in-ear coach while you work out, assisting with cross training and other activities that generally require a little bit of blood, sweat, and occasionally tears.
Sony Smart Tennis Sensor
Price: $249 (compatible tennis racket not included)
Perhaps your Dad is not only off the couch, but an avid tennis player. What then? What sort of technology caters to your father’s love for a game where one is supposed to hit a ball with a tennis racket?
Fortunately there is something, with Sony’s Smart Tennis Sensor, an unusual little gadget that sits at the bottom of a compatible tennis racket and is used to track the game of anyone using it.
You can use it with an iPhone or an Android phone, and this little gadget relies on a combination of technologies to work out strike zone, ball spin, where the racket hit the ball, and the speed the ball was careening at you and then the speed for your swing.
All of this can be stored for later, and you can even use the smartphone to record video of when you’re hitting, using this data to work on your game, which might be exactly what Dad wanted to get better at this year.