Let’s face it: if there’s one thing almost all fathers love, it is technology and gadgets. Dads today are definitely not into cheap gimmicks or gadgets that don’t work as advertised or don’t last. What they want are gadgets and tools that add value and are built to last. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best smart home tech tools and gadgets that any dad in your life is sure to love.
Turbocharge and Upgrade Your Home Wireless Network
A bad wireless router can be the biggest buzzkill. Some common problems with older routers are: they limit the number of devices that can connect to it, they throttle your bandwidth (this is especially true of the routers provided by cable companies), or the signal isn’t strong enough and/or it doesn’t have enough coverage. Whatever the problem, the good news is that it’s fixable.
• Look at getting a new wireless router. There are a lot of great options out there; here is a list of the top 10 from 2019.
• The Eero Home Wi-Fi System is a great option to create a meshed wireless network. Think of it like a complete wireless network that connects every corner of your house or man cave. Eero’s system is less intrusive than many other options, and it provides not only great coverage but the ability to connect to many devices as well.
Plugs and Smart Outlets
Smart plugs and outlets are a great way to get started setting up your smart home. These plugs and outlets allow whatever is plugged in to be turned on or off with an app on a cell phone, configured on a timer. So really, anything you can plugin can be controlled with an app.
• The Lutron Caseta Smart Home Dimmer Switch is a solid pick because it works with all the major voice assistants including: Alexa, Apple HomeKit and the Google Assistant
• Etekcity WiFi Smart Plug Mini Outlet with Timer
There are so many options on the market today for smart speakers. Hands down we recommend the SONOS brand system for a couple of reasons:
• It connects to your home WiFi
• Works with your voice assistants like Alexa and Siri.
• The sound quality is unrivaled. Sonos is as good or better than anything on the market today.
• It’s affordable
• The mobile app is very user friendly and allows you to easily connect to your music services AND play music from your phone.
• It’s easy to add additional speakers, whether they are wall-mounted or soundbars.
How to watch the game
• Turn your old TV into a SmartTV with a portable media player. By that we mean Google Chromecast, Roku, Amazon Fire Stick or Apple TV.
• This RIF6 Cube Full LED Mini Projector can stream video from any HDMI-compatible device onto a wall so you can watch the big game or the latest blockbuster action flick.
• Add some smart bulbs; you can sync them so they interact with the movie or match your team colors. There’s a lot more you can do with Smart Bulbs, so here are a few other ideas.
• For the big spender, there are some great smart TVs with built-in applications and voice control. Our favorites are:
o Toshiba 55LF711U20 55-inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV HDR – Fire TV Edition
Cool Coffee Tables
Dads love a good coffee table, preferably one that is perfect for putting their feet on or a place to put drinks and food for game day. We’ve found a few that might fit your budget:
• Smart coffee table for under $350 – See options
• The Sobro SOCTB300WHBK Coffee Table isn’t cheap but it comes with Refrigerator Drawer Bluetooth Speakers, LED Lights, and USB Charging Ports for Tablets, Laptops, or a Cell Phone – perfect for parties or entertaining. Right now the only color option is white but look for some new colors in 2020 – View on Amazon
Food and Drink
There are some great and affordable options for this tech.
• The Meater+ Long Range Smart Wireless Meat Thermometer. Your old man can sit on the couch or in the man cave and watch his game and monitor the grilled deliciousness.
• The Sidebar Electric Liquor & Beverage Dispenser System lets you mix perfect cocktails at home, as does the Perfect Drink PRO Smart Scale. Both are compatible with wireless or Bluetooth and can be controlled via the Recipe app.
• If you’ve got the budget, you’ll need the wireless controlled REC-TEC RT-700 portable wood pellet grill.
• Cleaning up after the party is easy with the iRobot Roomba 690 Robot Vacuum. It connects via #WiFi so you can control it with your phone, it charges itself, it’s compatible with Alexa, and it works great on everything from hardwood floors to carpets with pet hair.
• Vector Robot by Anki, A Home Robot Who Hangs Out & Helps Out, With Amazon Alexa Built-In
Games, games and more games
• Virtual Golf you can afford: OptiShot 2 Golf Simulator for Home with Net and Mat is basically a golf course in a box.
• If your dad is a gamer, the X Rocker Pro Series 2.1 Vibrating Black Leather Foldable Video Gaming Chair might be perfect. Here are some of the great features:
o It offers a complete media experience: This chair has 2 forward-facing speakers, audio force modulation technology, and ported power subwoofers into the open space inside the chair for full immersion in your game, movie, or music.
o It moves: The Pro Series H3 includes additional vibration motors that sync with your audio’s bass tones to create an even more powerful full-body sensation keeping you comfortable and entertained for hours.
o You can sync several chairs together: A control panel allows you to control the volume, sound quality, and individual gaming settings.
o Works with major gaming platforms such as Playstation and Xbox as well as many others.
For the DIY Dad
The DIY home automation dad who is up for a challenge can create his own digital sign, displaying weather, sports scores or whatever he’d like. Best of all the software is totally free; he’ll just need a wireless compatible TV to display. Start with Digital Signage.
For the DIY gaming man in your life, check out the Vilros Raspberry Pi 3 Retro Arcade Gaming Kit. For even more DIY tech, the Raspberry Pi is a microcomputer board that dads can use to design games, learn to program, and make websites. It won’t do much on its own, though, so buy him a kit with everything he’ll need to get started. This one has accessories for re-creating classic Nintendo games.
Here are some links to find some inspiration for your man cave:
For more inspiration check out the theater ideas from Martin Perri Interiors out of Carmel, California. The image used at the top of this post known as the ultimate sport’s cave was created by Martin Perri Interiors. They transformed a pool cabana into a sports bar with a five-screen media wall.