With the holidays fast approaching, it’s time to think about the gifts that you’re going to be picking up for those close to you. Would you be surprised to hear that I’m almost done my shopping? I got a head start this year and I’ve just about finished. Still, I admit that one of the hardest people to buy for year-in, year-out is my dad. I can never figure out what to get him but this year, he’s decided to call it quits. He’s retiring by the end of the year which means he’ll have a lot of time for projects around the house. He’s shown a great interest in Smarthome and “smart” things too, so perhaps this year I’ll get him started with a few stocking stuffers. Here are a few ideas to get both you and I started on.

Something for the house: In-House Security

My dad is a security buff. He’s always been interested in security systems of all shapes and sizes. I don’t know. We all have odd hobbies I guess. I collect autographs. He enjoys security systems. He’s really fascinated by the new in-home security cams that partner with your smartphones. That’s where I’d look to something like the Piper NV Smart Security System. There are a lot of these home cameras out there, but Piper’s got perhaps the largest field of vision (180 degrees) with pan and zoom functionality, night vision, HD recording, a 105 decibel alarm and can alert him on his phone when it senses something’s wrong. He’ll definitely get a kick out of this one. Your recipient just might too. While my dad’s house is laid out to where he’ll only need one, you can link up to 5 Pipers.

Something for the Rec Room: An LED Bulb that plays music

My dad spends a lot of time in his garage and he’ll be spending more in retirement I bet. He’s got a couple classic cars, a couple motorcycles. You know, those types of toys. In other words, his garage is his rec room. Surprisingly, there’s no stereo out in the garage given how much music he listens to. I’m slowly teaching him to start keeping his music on his phone (and show him various music streaming apps) and so, the Sengled Pulse Solo Smart LED Light Bulb with Built-in Speaker would be a great fit in his garage. It’s easy installing and he’ll be able to broadcast his music without issue. This is a great idea for any rec room. It forgoes the need for additional equipment and with phone or device in hand, you’ll always have full control of your music anytime.

Something Sporty: Waterproof Earphones

My dad has always been a pretty avid lap swimmer for as long as I can remember. Nowadays, he’s at the pool 3-4 times a week and when he’s not, it seems like he’s always listening to music. That’s where the Sony Swimmable Wireless One-Piece Earphones would come in. These are ridiculously easy to use, self-contained (the 4GB memory is integrated into one of the earbuds) and come with earpieces of different sizes in order to fit in your ears better. They charge in very little time too so you can be out of the house and in the pool faster. My dad has a pretty questionable taste in music, but nobody around him will hear since these are designed to keep music in and water out. I did have the opportunity to review these earlier in the year if you’d like more information on them.

Something for day to day: A Smartwatch

My dad’s been referring to himself as “the old man” for a few years now, so I don’t feel so guilty in saying he’s getting on. He’s always kept himself in great shape and I know that in retirement, he’ll keep on pushing. If I were going to stuff his stocking with a good day to day device, I’d look toward the Fitbit Surge Smartwatch With GPS & Heart Rate Monitor.  I want something that has all of the basic benefit of the high quality fitness trackers but keeps the watch aspect alive. I’m concerned that if I get him just a Fitbit, he’ll never utilize it. However, he does like watches and if he can access all of his data in easy to read and access formats (such as straight off the watch face,) he’ll definitely use it to the fullest. Think about this one for whomever you’re gifting to as well. I like the fact that this combines the best of both worlds so well.

If your giftee is active and much more technologically inclined, I’d say skip the smartwatches and go straight to the Microsoft Band 2. It falls square in the middle of the smartwatch price range but has a lot more features for the active person (and it can still tell the time.)

Bonus Pick: Myo Smart Gesture Control Armband

This isn’t really for the retiring dad, I guess. To suggest that my dad use this for his office (or even use Powerpoint for that matter) is out of the question. Me, on the other hand? I’m occasionally an instructional trainer looking for new ways to spice up presentations or training sessions. The Myo Gesture Control Armband is a fantastic idea. I had the chance to spend the better part of a month with it to do everything from playing games to work tasks. I really enjoyed it and it’s something I think your lucky recipient will too. You’ll only see about 20 different things you can do with it right now, but look for that to grow fast and in a hurry in 2016. Best of all, the company that created it is Canadian! Here’s my full review of it if you’d like to find out more.

There’s a list of a few stocking-sized stuffers for your dad, partner, friend, son, really whomever you’ve got to get a gift for! Look for more blogs in the coming weeks and days to help you figure out some great gift giving ideas this holiday season.


Matt Paligaru
Emerging Technology
A technology nut at heart, I'm always interested in what makes our lives easier and helps us tick day to day. Whether Home Automation, toys, games (board and video) or everything in between, I'm always looking around the corner to see what drives us in today's day and age.