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5 smart gifts that will make dad feel like a superhero this Father's Day

Posted June 16

Every dad deserves to feel like a superhero, and Father’s Day is a great opportunity to make that happen. Picking the perfect gift can be a challenge, though. You want your gift to be meaningful but also useful — not just something he’ll stick in a drawer and forget about. Luckily, there are some pretty cool superhero-worthy gadgets that feel like they’re straight out of the new Guardians of the Galaxy movie.

Smart devices make excellent Father’s Day gifts. Not only are they something he can use every day, but the futuristic nature of a smart gadget is sure to make him feel like Star-Lord every time he uses it. Here are five ideas to get you started.

1. Amazon Echo

Amazon Echo, a voice-activated smart speaker, is a great gift to give dad that has a futuristic feel. While it might not be quite as intense as Star-Lord’s voice-activated weapons, dad can use his voice to control music playback, get info like sports scores and the weather forecast and control other smart devices like a smart thermostat.

The Echo is available in white and black and looks great on a kitchen counter or on the entertainment center. Alexa, the voice-activated virtual assistant, does a pretty great job of picking out your voice even with background noise. At a price of just $179, you really can’t go wrong.

There’s also a cheaper Echo Dot that lacks the regular Echo’s built-in speaker, but makes up for it by being much smaller and much cheaper — the Echo Dot is only $49.99.

2. Chamberlain MyQ Garage Door Opener

Home automation tech is a great way to bring some of the magic of a superhero ship into the house. If your dad spends a lot of time in the garage, a smart garage door opener like the Chamberlain MyQ could be a cool gift. The MyQ connects to your home Wi-Fi and lets you open and close the garage door from anywhere in the world with a simple smartphone app.

The MyQ is easy to install, and it works with almost any garage door opener that uses safety reversing sensors at the bottom of the door track. No need to install a whole new garage door opening system — just add the MyQ and download the app. You can check the status (open or closed) and activate the door with a tap, so you never need to worry about forgetting to close the door again, which is great to help secure your home.

A note on security — adding these connected devices to your home makes it more important than ever to protect your Wi-Fi and prevent hackers from getting access to your network. Make sure you use strong passwords and follow basic online security practices like keeping your devices up-to-date to help protect your identity. Yes, that includes your garage door opener!

3. Sonos Sound System

The Guardians of the Galaxy movies are packed with great music. To make dad feel like he’s in his own action movie, surprise him on Father’s Day with a nice wireless speaker system like the Sonos Home Sound System. These speakers use Wi-Fi to stream music directly — no need to connect a phone or fiddle with Bluetooth links every time you want to listen.

Sonos speakers can stream from all the popular services, including Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora and Google Play. They can also be controlled via Amazon Echo, which adds a great voice-activated component to the system. Sonos speakers look great, and since they’re all-in-one systems, they won’t take up a bunch of space in his living room. There are a few models available, depending on how compact you want the speaker to be. Prices start at $199.

4. Smarter iKettle 2.0

If your dad is a tea drinker, the Smarter iKettle 2.0 will let him control the temperature of water inside it using a simple smartphone app. You can set it within one degree of the desired temperature and have it prepare your water at just the right time, so you’re never waiting around in the morning — or after work — for that must-have cup of tea. In fact, the company claims that the iKettle will save you two days a year spent waiting for water to boil.

The iKettle can be used to prepare water for anything, not just tea. It’s perfect for baby formula, instant coffee, Cup-a-Soup and anything else that requires hot water. If you have other smarter devices, you can also control those from the same app, which is handy. iKettle 2.0 costs around $130, depending on the model.

5. Travis Universal Translator

If your dad loves to travel around the planet, this is the perfect gift. Star-Lord’s helmet includes a universal translator, allowing him to understand any language, including those used by aliens from around the galaxy. While it won’t translate any inter-galactic languages, Travis the Translator will get you as close as possible. This handy gadget can translate 80 languages instantly, allowing dad to go anywhere with confidence.

The neat thing about Travis is the instant translation — just hit a button and start talking, and Travis will speak the words in the language of your choice. This is much easier than digging your phone out, hunting down the right app and selecting the right language. Travis sells for a very reasonable $149. There is currently a waiting list, so reserve it now and give dad an IOU coupon in the meantime.

Of course, there are many more smart devices out there, but these should get you off to a great start in making dad feel like a superhero all year long.

Krystal Rogers-Nelson is a Utah native, writer, artist and mother of one rambunctious toddler. She can be contacted at krystal.rogersnelson@gmail.com

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