By Chris Hayhurst
No matter how your dad feels about getting older, you can bet he still expects a good Father's Day present. So given that you've probably already stocked his shelves with books, and his wardrobe is likely overflowing with shirts and ties, what are your options? This year perhaps it's time to think outside the gift box—and to surprise your father with something youthfully “high-tech." Here are five ideas for technology gifts that dad will not only appreciate, but also enjoy.
That's right—dad needs a bike. Or maybe he doesn't need a bike, but who's to say he wouldn't mind having one to get healthy and have fun.? In fact, the biking rate among older adults is “soaring" according to one bike-advocacy organization, with seniors ages 60-79 leading the way. Many seniors choose so-called “lifestyle" bikes for their comfortable, upright riding position and wide-based tires designed for all kinds of roads. A cool option may be an E-bike: a two- or three-wheeled electric-assist bicycle that can be ridden in an upright (like normal) or recumbent position.
2. The “VR Experience"
Virtual reality is finally a reality, and there are options for dad that won't break the bank. Sure, you could get him the state-of-the-art Oculus Rift, but you could also opt for something much less expensive, like a HooToo VR headset or a Google Cardboard viewer. These latter two products work with a smartphone: Just download a special VR app and then look through the device (with phone attached) like you're wearing a mask. Give one to dad and he'll be able to “travel" wherever he wants—without even leaving his living room.
3. Robot Vacuum
Speaking of living rooms, if dad's space could use a little cleaning, he may enjoy having a robot around to help him. One best seller is the iRobot Roomba, a disc-shaped device that (unlike the characters inhabiting The Jetsons) sits quietly in the corner until you press a button. And then? With barely a whir the vacuum bot leaves its spot to rove the floors in search of dirt and dust. If dad hates the thought of pushing a vacuum himself, this may be his ticket to Sundays on the couch.
4. Lively Wearable
GreatCall's Lively Wearable watch is a fitness tracker and urgent response device in one, that works with Dad's Android smartphone. Once Dad straps it to his wrist, he can track his daily step count, access health-focused activity challenges through the Android app, and—if he needs it—get medical support from a 5Star Urgent Response agent. Even better, through a dedicated link to your personal Android smartphone, the device allows you to track dad as well, so you'll know right away if he's ever in trouble.
5. Jitterbug Smart
Last but not least on the list of great tech gifts is the Jitterbug Smart, also from GreatCall. A fully functional smartphone with an oversized screen, a simple menu, big icons, and easy-to-read text, the Jitterbug Smart was designed from the start with aging dads (and moms) in mind. But the biggest draw of this senior-friendly smartphone? The freedom it affords at an affordable price. Users, for example, can “write" an email or text just by speaking into the phone, and can access the Internet from anywhere in the U.S. And yet they only have to pay for the plan that meets their needs and there are no annual contracts or cancellation fees. For your Father's Day wow factor, that's bang for the buck.
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