What happens every year and involves a hammock, a TV and a case of beer? Father's Day! But there may be a few dads that don't swing that way and have tendencies toward new gadgets and other things tech. These are cyberdads.
Being a member of the cyberdad society, I have a few suggestions for Father's Day that may touch the heartstrings of any technogeek.
The folks at Nomad can make it easier for dad (or mom, for that matter) to charge his mobile phone when he's left his charging cable at home. The NomadKey ($25) is a small USB device that is shaped like a key and is designed to fit on a key chain or key ring. This little key can be used with Android, Windows (micro USB) or Apple (Lightning) devices. All dad needs to do is plug one end into a USB charger, PC or anything else with a standard USB port, plug the other end into his mobile device and he can charge on-the-go.
The company also makes the NomadClip ($39.95), which serves the same function as the NomadKey, but is designed to hold a set of keys and be clipped to a belt or other items that dad carries with him every day. Like the NomadKey, the NomadClip has a standard USB connection on one end and either a microUSB or Apple Lightning connection on the other.
Does dad need protection for his new iPhone, Samsung Galaxy 6, Galaxy 6 Edge or, possibly, his iPad Mini? Cases from Pelican Products offer more complete protection than most of their competitors. The company's phone cases ($49.99) are designed to protect dad's new smartphone from drops scratches or other hazards and the Galaxy 6 case comes with a swivel belt clip, reducing the chances that dad will lose his phone.
The Pelican Vault Case for the iPad Mini ($79.99) encases the small iPad in a hard, water tight enclosure, achieving a full seal against water, dust and dirt. It also comes with a lifetime guarantee.
If that doesn't satisfy his inner geek, there's the Anti-Gravity Case ($49.95) from Mega Tiny. This smartphone case is designed to stick to any surface including mirrors, walls and tile surfaces. This means that dad can watch the big game on his phone (hands free) while shaving or "capture that ultimate selfie." The three millimeter thick case has raised edges to protect phones from drops and fits the iPhone 6. 6 Plus, 5 and 5S or the Samsung Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge.
The folks at Mojio have completely redesigned those old devices that plug into a car's on-board diagnostic port. The original devices would pick up diagnostic codes from a car's computer and then we'd have to search online for a translation.
Those days are over. The Mojio ($149 base price) translates these codes and delivers a complete diagnostic report to your mobile device or computer using two apps - - - Mojio Gauge and Mojio Cloak.
Mojio Gauge provides real-time alerts as to the vehicle's overall health, fuel level and location. Mojio Cloak alerts car owners if their car is being stolen and provides the location of the stolen vehicle. Unfortunately, Mojio Cloak is only available for Android devices, but the manufacturer assures me that an Apple app is in the works.
There's no such thing as an indispensable tennis racquet, but Babolat has come close with the Babolat AreoDrive Play ($350). This racquet analyzes every stroke - - - forehands, backhands and overheads - - - delivering a report on where on the racquet face you hit the ball, how hard you hit it and the speed of the racquet on impact. We've been using it for a couple of weeks and it has definitely helped our game.
Basically, the racquet uses a small chip inserted under the end cap of its handle to gather all of the information. You simply turn it on by pressing a button on the end cap and it begins recording your strokes.
Once the session is over, you can connect it to any mobile device via BlueTooth and the Babolat Play app and immediately see your results. You can also use a USB cable to attach it to a computer's USB port.