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Father's Day Gift Guide: Gadgets for Every Type of Techie

Whether he's something of a luddite or a true geek at heart, show dad you care with just the right gadget from this guide.

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Forget the Ugly Tie

After Christmas, it seems the next-best season for the techy gadget crowd is June, with Father's Day, graduations (high school and college) and the start of summer all happening and presenting opportunities for people to buy other people gifts.

We've been inundated with pitches of the latest products for Dad, and we always enjoy trying out summer-related gadgets (since it's tough for us to try out grilling gadgets in the cold of November).

So if you're looking for something that goes beyond the normal "ugly tie", or even the typical gadget like a cell phone or digital camera, here are some ideas that piqued our interest. And if you are a techie Dad yourself, you can peruse the list and give ideas out to the people who will be buying you stuff.

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Father's Day Gift Guide: Gadgets for Every Type of Techie

Fixing things in dark areas usually means putting a flashlight in your mouth or asking someone to hold the flashlight the correct way. The Hi:Beam Glove Lite gloves ($29.99) include water-resistant rotating lights, rubber grip palms and breathable material.

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Father's Day Gift Guide: Gadgets for Every Type of Techie

Don't want to put lights on your gloves? How about on the tools themselves? Light wrenches ($99.99) from Bossco offer three light settings (low, high beam and emergency flashing), using LEDs with about 2,500 lux of power and the ability to hold a charge up to 5 hours. Seven wrenches range in size from 3/8-inch up to ¾-inch, or 10mm to 20mm metric.

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Father's Day Gift Guide: Gadgets for Every Type of Techie

Changing the oil in your car is easy – just drive to Jiffy Lube or other oil-changing location. But for smaller engine devices (lawn mower, snow blower) or really big engines (the boat), changing the oil becomes Dad’s job. Make it easier on him with the LiquiVac oil changing system ($34.99), which "harnesses the power of air!" to suck out oil from the engine quickly and cleanly. Using a combination of a vacuum and pump, the LiquiVac also doubles as a holding tank for easy transportation to a recycling center.

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Father's Day Gift Guide: Gadgets for Every Type of Techie

The Davek Golf specialty golf umbrella ($79) includes a special hidden feature when the handle is rotated – an aluminum-alloy "anchor spike" that lets you push the spike into the turf to keep the open umbrella in place while you take your shot, preventing it from blowing away. In addition, individual clubs can be propped up against the umbrella to keep them dry. The makers say the umbrella has been wind tunnel-tested by MIT's Aeronautics and Astronautics lab, and can endure gale-force winds at more than 60 mph.

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Father's Day Gift Guide: Gadgets for Every Type of Techie

The Callaway uPro golf GPS system ($399) gives users high-resolution aerial photography of the golf course that they're playing on. The device generates actual golf course photography that lets players visualize the layouts of holes, including hazards. The device provides precise distances so golfers can measure the entire course and know how far away they are from each hole.

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Father's Day Gift Guide: Gadgets for Every Type of Techie

For golfers and others who wear "cleated footwear", Cleatskins ($35.95) offer a way to quickly slip a flexible rubber shell over the shoes to eliminate to change in and out of them before the game. The compression molded rubber cups the bottom of cleats, and also provides a sealed barrier to keep dirt and grass out of the home and car.

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Father's Day Gift Guide: Gadgets for Every Type of Techie

Ambient Device's Baseball ScoreCast ($129) provides automatic baseball updates in a handy photo-frame-sized device. No PC or Internet connection is needed, the ScoreCast receives data from the free Ambient InfoCast network. Score updates are sent every half innings, and includes scores, schedules and standings for every team in the league. The device runs on four AA batteries, and Ambient says the batteries last all season.

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Father's Day Gift Guide: Gadgets for Every Type of Techie

Most Dads probably don't take care of their gym gear like they should. In other words, their gym bag stinks. Get them the Power Dry Ultra Gear Bag ($119.99), which includes a free-standing blower that attaches to the bag, directing ionized and ozonated air through the bar to deodorize and dry the bag. The company claims it can kill 99.9% of staph-causing microbes like MRSA bacteria. Cool.

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Father's Day Gift Guide: Gadgets for Every Type of Techie

Dads who grew up as Star Wars fans will love the new line of MimoBot designer USB flash drives. The new series features the dark side characters Darth Maul, and Darth Vader Unmasked (open the cap and it reveals a scarred Anakin). Capacities range from 1GB to 8GB ($20 to $50), and include bundled digital files such as Star Wars-themed wallpapers, screen savers, icons and avatars. MimoByte sound software includes character-specific Star Wars sound clips.

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Father's Day Gift Guide: Gadgets for Every Type of Techie

Static images are so 2007. The Intouch IT7150 ($229) 7-inch wireless Internet frame lets Dad listen to live Internet radio, watch Web videos and receive news via RSS feeds, all on a touchscreen interface.

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Father's Day Gift Guide: Gadgets for Every Type of Techie

If your Dad loves Wi-Fi, but hates weak signals, boost his connection with the Wi-Fire adapter ($79), which expands the range of connecting to Wi-Fi (802.11b/g) up to 1,000 feet away, and also offers stronger signal strength for the end user.

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Father's Day Gift Guide: Gadgets for Every Type of Techie

If your Dad (or new grad) has been having a hard time creating the perfect goatee, the GoateeSaver ($19.95) can help. The fully adjustable shaving template fits any man's face and prevents you from creating a crooked or uneven goatee.

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Father's Day Gift Guide: Gadgets for Every Type of Techie

We're not sure whether a Dad receiving this gadget would appreciate it, but if you have a "hairy" dad, the Remington body and back groomer may help him get rid of "any unwanted hair on the chest, back, abs, groin and legs". The $39.99 groomer includes an extendable handle for "hard to reach" areas, and 360-degree attachments and bi-directional heads.

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Father's Day Gift Guide: Gadgets for Every Type of Techie

SanDisk's Sansa slotRadio player ($99.99) is a tiny portable music player that includes 1,000 preloaded songs on the company's slotMusic cards. Additional genre-specific music cards (such as Rock, Oldies, Hip Hop and Country) can be purchased for $39.99 each. The player includes an FM tuner and integrated belt clip as well.

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Father's Day Gift Guide: Gadgets for Every Type of Techie

Personalize your look with customizable headphones by iFrogz. The EarPollution line (ranges from $19.99 to $34.99) include options to create more than 200,000 unique pairs of headphones. Options include headband, base, sidepiece, speaker piece, cushions and hinge piece.

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Father's Day Gift Guide: Gadgets for Every Type of Techie

Shure's SE115 Sound Isolating Earphones ($120) keep outside noises out for listening to the music, and come in a choice of four colors – blue, pink, black or red. The headphones feature a MicroSpeaker that delivers enhanced bass with sound isolating technology.

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Father's Day Gift Guide: Gadgets for Every Type of Techie

IHome's iHM77 portable stereo speakers ($50) are funky. Designed for any iPod, iPhone, Macbook, notebook or MP3 player, the speakers attach magnetically in a capsule shape for portability, then separate and extend for playing music. The two amplified speakers include built-in rechargeable batteries, USB charging and a carrying case.

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Father's Day Gift Guide: Gadgets for Every Type of Techie

Long before the iPod, there was the Sony Walkman, which defined portable audio for a generation. Sony's latest Walkman Series is the compact W Series ($69.99), designed to be worn behind the head and around the ears. With no dangling cords, the device is perfect for workouts or other activities where you don't want cords getting in the way. The device includes 2GB of memory built directly into the headphones, and the Zappin feature scans through songs by playing a portion of the main melody and letting you choose to skip or play.

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Father's Day Gift Guide: Gadgets for Every Type of Techie

Even if headbands aren't making a fashion comeback, you can use the new i360 headbands ($39.95) to attach your iPod Nano or Shuffle (second generation) and then listen and work out without wires. The i360 has an internal wiring system with dual detachable speakers integrated into the headband.

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Father's Day Gift Guide: Gadgets for Every Type of Techie

Forget about the tiny volume icon on your PC task bar that always seems to vanish when you want to turn down the volume. Hook up the SP-T1200 speakers from Genius ($99), which uses a touch panel for the volume adjustment. Simply swipe your finger across the illuminated blue control panel, saving you time when someone starts a conversation, the phone rings or you're playing that loud video on YouTube at work.

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Father's Day Gift Guide: Gadgets for Every Type of Techie

I wish I had this when I was a teen-ager and burning like a lobster. The SunMate UV Index Monitor ($19.95) pocket-sized device measures the intensity of the sun's rays. The SunMate's LED indicators light up between 1 and 5, depending on the intensity of the UV light.

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Father's Day Gift Guide: Gadgets for Every Type of Techie

A grill thermometer that talks and is wireless? Sign me up. Oregon Scientific's Talking BBQ Thermometer ($59.99) verbally alerts you when your meat has reached the perfect temperature, letting you program a choice of eight entrees, and the "doneness" desired.

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Father's Day Gift Guide: Gadgets for Every Type of Techie

GrillGrates ($59.99) sit on top of your existing grill, to solve grilling problems like flare-ups and dried burned food. Fats drip through the bottom and burn the back of the grate, not your food. The system comes with TheGrate Tool, designed to reach below the raised rails for easy handling and lifting of delicate foods, such as fish, vegetables or pizza. Plus, GrillGrates rhymes with Bill Gates.

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Father's Day Gift Guide: Gadgets for Every Type of Techie

The Gastar miGrill ($130) is a table-top gas grill with 160 square inches of grilling spaces and 8,500 BTUs of flame power. The grill includes a dishwasher-safe drop pan, as well as built-in speakers for an iPod or MP3 music player.

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Father's Day Gift Guide: Gadgets for Every Type of Techie

Don't like charcoal any more? The FlameDisk ($15 for 3-pack) is an ethanol-based replacement that lights more easily, provides up to 40 minutes of grilling time, and leaves no soot, ashes, or hot coals.

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Father's Day Gift Guide: Gadgets for Every Type of Techie

The WondaWedge ($24) may be the summertime’s answer to the Snuggie. The inflatable pillow with permanently attached mat seems cheesy when you look at it, but like the Snuggie becomes very useful in certain situations. The WondaWedge is aimed for beach-goers, campers, fishermen, and outdoor concerts. Or you can use it indoors to read in bed more comfortably. Different inflatable settings let you control your comfort level.

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Father's Day Gift Guide: Gadgets for Every Type of Techie

Summer vacations often mean piling the kids into the family truckster and taking a road trip to Wally World or other far away location. Make sure the driver is equipped with the Anti Sleep Driving Alarm ($12), which is worn over the ear and includes an electronic position sensor. When driving drowsiness occurs and your head nods forward, the device sounds a loud alarm to instantly wake the driver up.

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Father's Day Gift Guide: Gadgets for Every Type of Techie

Going hiking? You might want the Casio Pathfinder watch ($350). The watch comes with a digital compass, barometer/thermometer and altimeter, as well as features like atomic time-keeping, five alarms and a stopwatch. The solar-powered watch is also water-resistant up to 200 meters.

For more ideas see our most recent Holiday Gift Guide.

For a constant stream of gadgets see Keith's Cool Tools blog.

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