If Dad doesn’t like to be bothered while he’s getting his entertainment on, but knows all too well that there’s a chance he’ll have to relinquish the TV because someone else has to use it, because they have to watch their programs, consider a combination of products, or if they have the console already, a side-device to let them keep gaming.
Microsoft Xbox One / Microsoft Surface 3
Price: Xbox One ($499); Microsoft Surface 3 ($699)
Gamers with an Xbox One can always play games in front of the telly, but what happens when the TV is being used by someone else?
No worries, because Windows 10 makes it possible to stream the video games.
To do this, take one Xbox One and one Windows 10 device like a Microsoft Surface 3 and connect them over the same network, grabbing a USB-equipped controller and plugging it straight into the computer.
The next time the TV is being used, you can tell Dad to sit in the other room with a pair of headphones and the game pad and keep gaming, even when the TV is already being watched by someone else.
Sony PlayStation 4 / Sony Z3 Tablet Compact
Price: PlayStation 4 ($499); Sony Z3 Compact Tablet ($499)
That whole situation with the Xbox is also one that can happen to gamers with the PlayStation 4, but if you have the right setup, you can deal with it appropriately.
For instance, if Dad wants to play GTA V on the PlayStation 4, but the kids are watching an example of reality TV that he’d just sooner fall asleep through, he can grab the Sony Z3 Compact Tablet and log on to his PlayStation 4 from another room in the house.
Unlike the Xbox and Windows 10 solution where you need to plug in a controller, it’s optional with Sony’s Remote Play app on Sony’s Android devices, and he can either play with on-screen controls or bring the Bluetooth Sony PS4 controller and play that way.
Either way, he can share the TV with the rest of the family and still get his game on.
Samsung Gear VR / Gear VR for S6
Price: $299 (phone not included)
The next step for gaming will be virtual reality, but if you have a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 or Galaxy S6/S6 Edge phone, you can be there already. If you know your Dad has one of these, he can be there, too.
This jump in gaming is more immersive and allows the wearer of the virtual reality headset to go to new worlds, to tour our planet, and to see virtual environments as if they were in them, throwing up the screen of their phone to their face and allowing their brain to be transported somewhere else.
It’s one of those experiences that is hard to describe, but it’s here now if you already have one of the prerequisite devices, like the Galaxy Note 4 with its Gear VR or the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge with its equivalent.
Ultimately, if you’re stuck for ideas, giving Dad a taste of the future of gaming in this way will totally throw him a curve.
The man around the house
Some gadgets go beyond the basic needs of entreatment and food, and go to grooming and fixing bits and bobs around the house, so if none of the ideas have really matched what you’re going for thus far, try these.
If losing things is a real and genuine problem for the dad in your life, perhaps a bit of tracking for the important things is what the doctor ordered.
This can be served with a TrackR, a little sticker, keyring, or slip-in for a wallet that will talk to either an iPhone or an Android phone or tablet to call out where it is.
Did you leave your wallet in the bedroom or the car? Did you leave your keys outside?
TrackR will talk to a phone or tablet to point this out, telling the phone’s owner where the device last was.
We live in a world where our devices constantly need charging, usually because they run out of charge so quickly. As a result, some of us carry around portable power banks to always make sure the batteries are topped up, which has become a fairly normal practice, now that batteries are for the most part no longer removable.
But what about your car? Do you keep one for that in case that battery goes dead?
Laser has come up with a gadget that presents the best of both worlds, ideal for the glove box in an “in case of emergency” situation.
This is the Laser Portable Power Bank and Car Jump Starter, a product name that just sort of says it all for what it’s going to do, providing a battery supply for your gadgets, while also including jumper cables for your car.
There’s also an added bonus of a torch being built into the unit, making it handy if the lights ever go out and your phone is running out of charge, because this will kill two birds with one stone.
We all need haircuts, and if you can do it at home, even better.
A new Philips trimmer has grabbed our attention for this purpose, and it includes a rather simple feature: it memorises the length you used last.
Call us simple, but that is one of those features that makes so much sense, with the ability to save three other lengths dependent on the comb you’re using.
Beyond this, you’ll find over 400 lengths digitally controlled from 1mm all the way up to 42mm, a swipe interface to let you dial this in with a flick of your finger, and a two-way cutting system meant to cut your hair faster so you won’t have to go over and over and over and over that spot.
Oral-B Pro 5000 Power Toothbrush
It might seem like an odd gesture to give your dad a toothbrush, but when that brush is one able to recreate the pleasant part about going to see a dentist — look, no drills! — it makes sense.
Oral-B’s Pro 5000 isn’t your ordinary toothbrush, either, and aside for the cross action bristle head, aside for the specifically set 16 degree angle to get in those crevices, aside for the five different cleaning modes, this brush has Bluetooth.
That is to say it won’t give you blue teeth, but it will connect to your phone over Bluetooth 4.0 to record your daily brushing and analyse your routine.
We’re not sure how many people need this, mind you, but if your dad has ever wanted a greater understanding as to what goes on when he brushes inside his mouth, this just might fill the gaps, so to speak.