10 Father's Day gifts to help dad feel young and cool

Dad isn't getting any younger. Why not get him a Father's Day gift that makes him feel young and cool again? Here are 10 ideas.

10 Father's Day Gifts to Help Dad Feel Young and Cool
Credit: ThinkStock

Another Father's Day is around the corner, reminding dear old dad that he's another year older. Why not help your dad feel just a touch more youthful? These 10 gadgets mix fun and practicality — and sure beat the tie, book or gift card you've given him in the past.

Paul Mah is a tech blogger who was formerly an IT professional. These days, he spends his time dissecting various tech news and developments at www.TechBlogger.io. You can follow him on Twitter at @paulmah or Google Plus at +PaulMah.

Jawbone Era Headset
Jawbone Era Headset

The Jawbone Era ($129.99 with charging case) is easily one of the most minimalist and lightweight headset out there. The Era incorporates a new design that uses the natural contour of the ear to create a fit that's comfortable enough to wear all day.

In our tests, we found it entirely possible to forget that the Era headset is even there. Credit the headset's micro-electro-mechanical system, which Jawbone says delivers superior performance in a small size. Finally, the Jawbone Era comes with a tiny charging case that bumps the four-hour talk time of the lightweight Bluetooth earpiece to 10 hours.

[ News: Jawbone's $250 Million Infusion Could Shake Up Wearable Tech ]

Sphero 2.0
Sphero 2.0

Awake the inner child in your dad with Sphero 2.0 ($99.99), a remote-controlled robot the likes of which your dad never saw while raising you. (Not that he'd have had time for a robot anyway.)

The robotic sphere pairs with your iOS or Android device via Bluetooth and careens around at speeds of up to 7 feet per second, with a 100-foot range. The Sphero 2.0 is waterproof, and is recharged by an included induction charger. Since its release, the catalog of Sphero-compatible games and apps have grown to some 30 titles and counting, allowing for many more hours of fun.

[ From CES 2013: Sphero Robotic Ball Gets Augmented Reality, Becomes a Beaver ]

Motrr Galileo
Motrr Galileo

The Motrr Galileo ($203 for Bluetooth model) is unique robotic holder designed for the iPhone that can be placed flat on a table or mounted on a standard camera tripod. The device offers 360 degrees of spherical motion for an attached iPhone, along with a wealth of fun and practical applications such as time-lapse photos, 360-degrees panoramas and even remote surveillance.

All told, more than a dozen Galileo-enabled apps are available now. The Galileo pairs to the smartphone using Bluetooth and can be controlled from another iOS device or a Web browser.

[ Related: Awesome Accessories for Your Dad's iPhone ]

Plantronics BackBeat GO 2
Plantronics BackBeat GO 2

The Plantronics BackBeat GO 2($99.99 with charging case) wireless stereo headset is designed for listening to music and taking calls. Both a rechargeable battery and Bluetooth transceiver are built directly into the earpiece unit; there are no bulky components to stow away.

A military-grade nano-coating also protects the device from sweat, moisture and spills, making it perfect for a run or a workout at the gym. Fully charged, the BackBeat GO 2 offers up to four-and-a-half hours of listening and five hours of talk time; this is boosted to 14.5 hours of listening time with the included case.

[ Gear on Your Ear: 6 Premium Bluetooth Headsets Reviewed ]

Logitech Case [+] The Story
Logitech Case [+] The Story

The Logitech case [+] The story ($199) iPhone accessory set includes a basic case and various "[+]" components, including a leather kickstand, a vehicle mount, wallet for credit cards and external battery pack.

The slim case serves to protect the iPhone against drops while adding minimal bulk, and it incorporates a strategic stripe of metal by which the other accessories can be magnetically attached. The vehicle mount is our favorite, attaching securely with no flimsy plastic hooks to breakage.

[ On the Other Hand … The 15 Best Android Accessories ]

Twelve South Hoverbar for iPad
Twelve South Hoverbar for iPad

If your dad owns an iPad tablet, consider the Hoverbar for iPad ($99.99). As its name suggests, the Hoverbar is a stand with a versatile arm that can be attached to any ledge up to one inch thick. It can be used as a floating display beside your monitor in the study, or on the kitchen counter where it's kept away from any spills or splatters.

Three included "Fit Clips" allows the Hoverbar to work with any current iPad tablets, and the metallic arm is strong yet surprisingly flexible. Finally, the Hoverbar for iPad includes a handy kickstand that snaps onto the iPad clip for use as a standalone tabletop display.

[ How-to: Put Dad's Tablet to Work with a Desk-mount Arm ]

CalypsoTag
CalypsoTag

The stylish CalypsoTag ($134) luggage tag not only makes luggage easier to identify out of the carousel; it also allows luggage to be tracked electronically within 200 feet (60 meters). The latter is possible due to the use of a low-power Bluetooth 4.0 chip built inside the CalypsoTag, which communicates with a (free) Apple or Android smartphone app.

The app will send you an alert should a fellow passenger try to pull a fast one with the luggage. Available in four bold styles, the CalypsoTag is made of premium Italian leather that's striking in appearance even without its electronic tracking capability.

[ Plus: The 12 Best Laptop Bags for Mobile Professionals ]

iFrogz Tadpole Bluetooth Speaker
iFrogz Tadpole Bluetooth Speaker

The iFrogz Tadpole Bluetooth Speaker ($19.99) punches way above its weight to deliver big sound. Because it weighs just 0.7 ounces (20 grams), the Tadpole can be clipped easily onto keys, purses, belts or anything else with a hoop.

The wireless speaker works with smartphones and tablets that support Bluetooth 3.0, and the onboard 200mAh lithium-ion battery can power more than two hours of continuous play. When drained, the device is easily juiced from its micro-USB charging port.

[ More: 8 Great Portable Speakers for Your Next Road Trip ]

Anker 36W USB Quad-Port Wall Charger
Anker 36W USB Quad-Port Wall Charger

With the number of USB-powered devices increasing by the day, the Anker 36W USB Quad-Port Wall Charger ($42.99) helps ensure that your dad has ample ports to keep his gadgets properly juiced.

The Anker 36W Wall Charger is designed for simultaneous, full-speed charging, with two ports hardwired for Apple (2.1A output) devices and two for Android (1.5A output) smartphones and tablets. The portable charger is lightweight and tips the scale at just 3.5 ounces (100 grams).

[ Also: 8 Great Lightning Charging Gadgets for iPhone Aficionados ]

STM Aero Small Laptop Backpack
STM Aero Small Laptop Backpack

The STM Aero small laptop backpack ($99.95) is designed for toting around a laptop, tablet and other gadgets. The backpack is designed to fit most 13-inch laptops; we were able to fit in both a 13-inch MacBook Pro Retina as well as an iPad tablet just fine.

High-density foam padding lines strategic parts of the backpack, while soft material coats other areas to protect your expensive gadget. A highly organized interior offers multiple pockets and nooks for storing all manner of digital paraphernalia, such as headphones or an AC adapter. The STM aero small laptop backpack weighs just 1.5 pounds (660 grams), and its svelte silhouette will make your dad feel young (or at least stylish) again.