Tech gifts for dads and grads

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by BRIAN M. WESTBROOK / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on May 30, 2014 at 12:09 PM

Updated Friday, May 30 at 12:09 PM

With Father's Day right around the corner, you may be looking for the perfect electronics gift for dad. Take a look at these picks as well as some bonus ideas for graduates.

Jambox made wireless portable speakers simple and easy. Now they're out with the Jambox Mini, a smaller speaker capable of playing music from your favorite Bluetooth-enable device. With a recent upgrade, two speakers can be linked together to provide synced stereo audio. Available at the AT&T Store for $130 and Microsoft Store has all Jambox speakers $50 off for a limited time.

D-Link is jumping in to the booming home automation arena. With Apple rumored to be launching their own smart home solution, many gadget makers are looking to provide tools to control your lights, heat, and security. D-Link's DSP-W215 plugs in to a standard outlet and provides remote control via a mobile app. Perfect for those "Did I leave the iron on?" panic attacks when you are away from home. Pick one up at dlink.com for $50.

If your Dad is like mine, he can't live without his DVR. The latest from Tivo, the Roamio, not only records six shows at once, has a mobile app to control and stream shows remotely, but it also supports a companion product that connects other TVs in the house. The Roamio Plus supports 150 hours of HD recordings for $399 and the Tivo Mini is $99. Learn more at tivo.com.

Simplify all your remote controls by programming the Harmony Ultimate to do it all. This remote from Logitech replaces separate remotes that control your TV, DVR, game console and more. It might be a bit steep at $250, but avoiding the hassle of fumbling around with multiple remotes is priceless.

Wearable technology is a hot gift idea this Father's Day. Grab a Fitbit Flex for $50 with a promo from AT&T Store or the new UP 24 by Jawbone. Both fitness trackers offer companion apps to help you track fitness, progress, and even (if applicable) sleep!

A new app called Up Coffee even tracks the impact of caffeine on your health.

Dropcam has revolutionized home monitoring. The Dropcam Pro works on your home's Wi-Fi connection to keep an eye on pets, kids, and even things that go bump in the night (thanks the camera's built-in night vision). $200 gets you the Dropcam Pro with subscription plans available for cloud-based recording. 

The days of Dad being the family photographer, and thus missing being in the photo, are over. Thanks to the Hisy (high-see) Bluetooth remove for iOS devices, selfies just got easier. Click the button to snap a photo or start and stop video recording. No app is required. It’s $25 at hisypix.com.


Finally, the National Retail Federation suggests we will spend $4.7 billion on graduation gifts this year. Here are three grad-friendly gift ideas:

HP flips traditional laptop 360-degrees with the new Pavilion x360. The lightweight laptop converts from a laptop to a tablet with a unique hinge. Running Windows 8, the laptop also includes BeatsAudio technology, acquired this week by Apple. The laptop sells for $399 at hp.com.

Dads and grads alike will appreciate the room-filling UE Boom. A 15 hour battery and 360-degree audio top the list of features of this portable Bluetooth speaker. Download the UE Boom app to turn your speaker in to an alarm clock.

Uploma has found a clever way to show off that hard-earned diploma. A trophy-like custom award showcases your degree, school logo and even a quote of your choosing. There are more than 100 schools available now with additional Northwest-area schools like Western, Central, University of Oregon and UBC coming soon. Customize your own Uploma (for the recent grad, or Father's Day gift) at uplomausa.com.

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