Yes, it is sauce-proof. Picture: Sony
Father’s Day is coming and as much as you love him, you’ve probably just realised there’s not a lot of time left to pop down to the shops, let alone think about a present.
We’re here for you. These six ideas are not only available online with express shipping, they’re pretty much guaranteed to make him happy.
Happy as in, “will keep using it”. We know, because we’ve tried them all, and are still using them.
Here’s the best of the most recent gear that’s arrived on our doorstep at BI, in a range to suit most budgets.
Happy Father’s Day, dads of the world.
Sony smart speaker – $179
It’s a tough space to be in right now, the speaker business. While it may be tempting to get dad a home assistant, you’ve probably got one by now, and chances are he secretly feels like a bit of a goose talking to it. He’ll be much happier dancing alone in the shed with this:
Sony has found a way to reinvigorate the wireless speaker market with the SRS-XB31. The XB stands for Extra Bass, and it more than delivers on that front. But by far the best feature is Party Booster, which actually encourages dad to pick it up and throw even more mad dad shapes because when he bangs on the XB31, it becomes a scratch, snare or kick drum:
There’s even a cowbell option. Genius.
Board games with the kids is kind of fun. Right up until it becomes clear one child is winning and someone mentions “rules”. And while threats and tears and physical restraining are just another day in the life of dad, give him a break for 24 hours by handing control over to Alexa.
When In Rome.
When in Rome is billed by its creators Sensible Object as the world’s first voice augmented board game for Amazon Alexa. It’s powered by a free Alexa skill that lets players visit up to 20 new cities from Mumbai to Cape Town and have guided conversations with real locals who will ask them questions about local customs, street food, and more. We’ve played it, and are delighted to report that it… works, surprisingly. And, it’s fun.
Best of all, Alexa runs the show, teaching everyone the rules, keeping track of progress and even helping out when anyone’s in trouble. Obviously, you’ll need an Alexa.
Let’s be honest here – wine fridges are more than a bit wanky. But not as much as they used to be, because a) they’re called “bottle cabinets” and b) companies such as Hisense are now making solid ones at prices which actually leave you some money left over with which to buy wine. They start at , single zone cabinet:
That’s important, because while dad knows a bargain when Vinomofo assures him they have one for the next six hours only, he hasn’t the first clue how to store it properly. And they’re piling up in the garage…
, dual temperature zones, a triple-glazed door and wooden shelving.
Your smartwatch doesn’t have to match your smartphone. But buying a brand that isn’t Samsung or Apple feels a bit risky when you’re coughing up $400-plus. It doesn’t have to be that way, though, because AI startup Mobvoi is backed by the likes of Volkswagen, and their new watch is powered by Google’s rapidly improving Wear OS, which works with both Android and iOS phones.
It works well, too. We know, . Bonus – it looks good, and has massive battery life due to very cool dual-screen technology that turns it into a classic 80s digi when you’re not interacting with it.
When it comes to bang for making-dad-look-good buck, this could be the best money you’ll spend:
Honestly, if you can stuff up sous vide cooking, we can’t help you. It’s smaller and lighter than traditional units, and clamps onto the side of your pot. At just over $100, you make your money back with dad’s first five-star meal.
Another offering from Sensible Object, which really are on a roll right now when it comes to using tech to drag people (read “kids”) away from their screens and back into each other’s faces. Beasts of Balance started life and hit nearly $400,000 on a $50,000 goal. That’s because it also hit all the right notes. Stackable pieces? Check:
Battle cards? Check. Stuff that when you’ve built it in real life appears as something awesome on your screen? Oh yes: