Believe it or not, Father’s Day is just a week away – June 15th to be exact! And if you’re still on the hunt to get your dad or the “dad” in your life a great Father’s Day gift, you are in luck! Tech expert Mario Armstrong joined me recently to dish on the top technology gifts every dad will adore and can use around the house!
Candace Rose: What are some great gifts for dad this Father’s Day?
Mario Armstrong: “Candace, we have some awesome stuff. Let’s start with the Microsoft Surface 2. It’s running Windows 8.1, which is awesome. It’s super fast with Windows 8.1, plus you can get business done and a lot of play. The reason why I like this starting off the bat is because you also get Office preloaded, but when you want it to be a full tablet, you just take the keyboard right off. But when you want it to be a full use laptop, you just put the little cover with the keyboard and you have the best of both worlds right there. It also comes preloaded with apps for your finances like Mint, iFixit for all your problems, and even for you soccer fans, Fifa 14 is also on there too.”
Candace Rose: What’s new in wearable tech?
Mario Armstrong: “Wearable tech is always changing and growing. What I’m showing right now is the LG Lifeband Touch. I’m big into fitness bands, I wear them a lot. I like this one a lot because it has an OLED touch display which means you can actually see the data show up right on the device. You can see calories burned, you can see steps taken – all of those cool things. The other thing is, this thing has accelerometer and an altimeter in it, it has a lot more sensors and gives it a lot more accuracy. They have a great app that goes along with it as well, so you can track everything, plus share that with your friends. This device can work with other apps and other devices, which is really good – you may have a heart rate monitor or a wifi scale around the house.”
Candace Rose: Are you seeing any new smart home technology?
Mario Armstrong: “Yeah, that’s always changing. Homes are always getting smarter, because people have wifi’s in their homes, they’re used to Bluetooth and so a lot of devices are like ‘How can we give people more control over the stuff that’s going on in their house?’ So a lot of companies come up with things like turning on your lights for safety- well, Emerson’s come out with something to control your heating and cooling your thermostat through wifi, it’s called Sensi. You basically can control this from your phone or a tablet, whether you’re in the house or outside of the house. Not only can you adjust the temperature and fan speed and stuff like that, but you can also save money because you can see how much energy you’re using or how much you might be wasting, so really, really good for that.
But also in the home are smart remotes. I hate when I go over to my friend’s house and they have multiple remotes. I’m big on using universal remotes. The one I use is Logitech universal remote, this is the Harmony Ultimate model (please see video above for details) it’s a universal remote that will control everything- all your entertainment devices, even game consoles like Xbox One. What’s rely cool though is the fact that you can program it. If you go into my house, you pick up my Logitech remote, you hit one button, it turns on four different devices. My wife loves that too, it just makes it really essay and really simple. Plus, they have an app for that too, so you can actually have that on your phone if you wanted to.
We also have a lot of Smart TVs in our homes, I don’t know about you, but I use the smart television quite a bit, I do a lot of searching on Amazon, I pull up movies, do some web browsing on the television. But you can’t really do that with the remotes they give you with the TV, so I like the one that Logitech has created for that purpose, it’s called the Logitech Illuminated Living Room keyboard K830 model, it lights up in three different illuminated settings so you can see it at dark, but it’s not going to be so bright that it bothers you. It has really soft keys, they’re quiet and it has a mouse on the keyboard as well, so that makes it really easy. You can use this with your computer too. You don’t have to just use it with a TV.
Last, but not least, Candace, everyone likes to take their camera phone or their smartphone and take a picture with their camera and do what’s called taking a selfie. A company has come out with a product that makes selfies better. The name of the product is actually called Selfy (spelled with a y). It’s a case that goes onto your existing devices, and then it has a remote that is on the back of it. The remote is about the size of a thumb remote, so basically what you can do, Candace, is sit the phone down, step back…crowd everyone around the image, hit the little remote button and wirelessly take a picture. I think for the holidays, summertime, vacations, cookouts, it’s going to make people take better photos and better selfies.”
Candace Rose: Absolutely. Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share with us?
Mario Armstrong: “I just think that if you’re going to buy stuff for someone that you really don’t get caught up on buying for the sake of buying. Really think who you’re buying something for, and what they would use the product for. We have a lot of choices for a lot of different styles of living, productivity, for fun. I think just know who you’re buying for, and then make the right decision.”
Candace Rose: Where can we go for more information?
Mario Armstrong: “Head over to our website- go to ThunkNews.com/DadsGrads.”