Don’t get the man in your life a tie. Sure, it seems like it’s something he needs (and it probably is), but don’t do it. No matter how fine the silk or how nicely it matches his favorite suit, a tie gift just has “afterthought” written all over it.
He’s better than that.
Also, don’t buy the man in your life a pair of pants. Yes, he certainly needs a new pair of pants, but that’s beside the point—it’s not what he wants. And while we’re at it, don’t buy him a belt, a tennis racket, a sommelier class, a wok, or a set of fishing lures. That is unless you secretly hate him and want to slowly drive him from your life via a steady parade of underwhelming holidays and birthdays.
While digital assistants are all the rage, the Amazon Echo$179.99 at Amazon, with its built-in Alexa assistant, is the first one to live in a dedicated piece of hardware. The Echo is a Bluetooth speaker that connects to your PC or mobile device, BUT you can also talk to it! Really! The Echo will actually parse your spoken question and return answers to you from the greater Internet. It’s by no means perfect, but for only $180, the Echo actually offers a reasonably accurate view of what we always thought the future would look like.
If the man in your life already has a speaker, or one of those old-school stereo systems, the Chromecast Audio $35.00 at Best Buy will allow him to stream music from services like Spotify to existing speakers with ease. Just plug in, sync to Wi-Fi, and stream away.
DJI Phantom 3 Professional
Don’t let the man in your life fall behind in the race to rule the robot skies! At just under $1,300, the Phantom 3 Professional$999.00 at Amazon from DJI is a fairly big purchase, BUT it packs in enough quality features to make it one of the best consumer drones you can buy. With automated take-off and landing, built-in GPS, and 4K video capture capabilities, the Phantom 3 gives users an unparalleled view of everything around them. What better gift could there be than the very sky itself?! (Or, at least the sky under 400 feet, per FAA regulations).
Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Wireless
With gorgeous design, crafted audio delivery, and wireless capabilities, the curvaceous Zeppelin Wireless speaker$699.49 at Amazon from Bowers & Wilkins is a perfect addition to any modern man cave. And, best of all, it’s wireless, so it will stream tunes via AirPlay, Bluetooth, or Spotify Connect.
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If you want to take control of your castle, then one of the best purchases you can make is the $199 Dropcam Pro$259.95 at Amazon. This connected camera from the Google-owned (by way of Nest) Dropcam lets you monitor your home from anywhere with a connected device. Want to check in on your cat sitter or just know that everything is good while your on vacation? Then this is the product for you. Users are also able to purchase additional services like maintaining a cloud-based recorded library.
Belkin WeMo Insight Switch
To have a truly connected home, you need to start where all home technology begins: The outlet. That’s where Belkin’s connected Insight Switch$44.99 at Best Buy comes in—it can turn anything plugged into the outlet on and off via a Web interface (including IFTTT integration), but it can also provide a detailed record of your power usage for those looking to track their energy consumption.
NFL Otterbox Cover
Phone manufactures spend millions of dollars on R&D to create the sexiest phones possible. Too bad that’s a complete waste of resources. Most people make the wise decision to place cases on their expensive mobile devices to protect them from inevitable falls and bumps.
In particular, people should consider a “rugged” cover for their phones. One of the most respected names in the rugged games is Otterbox. The company offers a number of different protective covers for all major phone models. But if the fella in your life happens to be a huge sports fan, you might consider an officially licensed Otterbox cover emblazoned with the logo of their favorite NFL team. That way, when their favorite team underperforms (like a certain bird-based team from southeastern Pennsylvania), their phone will be safe from the inevitable slams and pounds of fan disgruntlement.
Samsung Gear VR
Know someone with the latest flagship mobile devices from Samsung (like the Galaxy S6 and Note 5)? Then they might enjoy the ultimate periphery: The $99 Samsung Gear VR. Users can just slip their existing phone into the headset and be transported to an impressive virtual world! I can confirm from personal experience with earlier versions of Gear VR, that the technology is indeed super cool—or, at the very least, super promising.
The human body is designed to shovel as many calories as it possibly can into its face hole. And that was a very useful instinct to have back when mammoth meat was in short supply and we could not rely on new berries until the spring harvest. But today, steaming hot pizza is only few clicks away and there’s a Chipotle on every corner. Now we are forced to FIGHT the very instinct that served us so well for so many millennia. That’s where technology can help!
Eating too fast can lead to a number of health problems. If you are an all-too-enthusiastic gormandizer (this tends to be a guy problem), the $99 Hapilabs Hapifork$64.86 at Amazon will notify you via a slight vibration to slow the fudge down. The default break between bites is 10 seconds, but you can alter the pace to a goal you are comfortable with. In addition, the Bluetooth-enabled fork will track how your eating speeds evolve over time via a connected mobile app. If you are into self-quantification, this is the utensil for you!