Upgrade Father's Day with high-tech takes on old-timey gifts

All those traditional Father's Day gifts get a high-tech overhaul.

Father's Day is Sunday

Dads are just awesome. Whether they're teaching you how to throw a ball or how to defrag a hard drive, dads always have your back.

But they're also darn near impossible to shop for, which is why we often default to the same typical gifts come Father's Day: ties, cuff links, socks. The good news is that this year, you can upgrade Dad's gift by giving him a high-tech version of those old faves. What did we have in mind? Keep clicking....

Then: Razors

Back in the day, razors were straight, and you got a shave from a guy named Bob or Jim on your lunch break.

Gentlemen were, after all, clean shaven, and without disposable razors, a barber was your best bet for beating back your beard.

Now: Razors

These days mustaches are a trend, and beards are big business—but razors are still the rule if you want to stay clean shaven.

However, if you want to get Dad a razor you now have options like the ShaveTech, which looks like a smartphone and can charge via USB.

Then: Cigar boxes

Well, they held cigars, naturally. Since smoking was much more common, many a dad had a gorgeous cigar box displayed atop his desk or in his study.

Now: Cigar boxes

Well, smoking is no longer quite as socially acceptable, but that doesn't mean that elegant cigar boxes have gone out of style.

Instead, they're being repurposed into all kinds of interesting things like, say, an iPhone dock (from Etsy seller NewLightCraftworks)—which is a much healthier gift to give.

Then: Socks

Socks...went on your feet, were occasionally held up by some fancy garters, and generally came in black. Still, socks were a solid gift for Dad since they always come in handy.

Now: Socks

Now, not only do socks come in a stunning variety of geeky themes, like superheroes and sci-fi, but they're also available with technology built right in.

Think we're joking? Check out BlackSocks. Their Plus+ line of men's socks have RFID chips that communicate via NFC with the Sock Sorter, which pairs to your iPhone with Bluetooth. Launch the companion app and it'll help you pair your socks, tell you how many times they've been washed, and measure how black they still are. Seriously.

Then: Neckties

What would Don Draper be without an impeccable suit? And what would that suit be without a tie?

Neckties were an essential part of a man's dress code in ages gone by, and hence a great and useful gift for fathers.

Now: Neckties

Now that dress codes are more relaxed, a necktie is no longer essential, but can still make a fashion statement—especially a nerdy one.

Ties can be found in a variety of geek-approved prints, such as binary code and on/off symbols. But that's just the beginning: There are 8-bit ties, USB fan ties, and of course, our own design: the 3D printed tie.

Then: Cuff links

Cuff links beat buttons to the punch by about 60 years or so. Before that, people used to tie their cuffs together with strings. Fortunately, cuff links made dressing much easier and more debonair. Since every dad had a shirt, cuff links were a good go-to gift.

Now: Cuff links

Much like neckties, cuff links are now more of a novelty item—as are the French-cuffed shirts that require them.

However, if your Dad is a classy guy, chances are he could use a pair. Why not get him a pair that doubles as USB storage—or triple useful: also acts as a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Then: Grilling

Moms cooked, dads grilled. And nothing made for a good gift for Dad quite like tools for grilling meat outdoors with a beer in hand.

Now: Grilling

Technology may have made leaps and bounds, but dads still like to grill. Upgrade Dad's grill time with gadgets like the iGrill, which helps you achieve perfect temperatures with a Bluetooth meat thermometer and companion app.

Now: Grilling

A bonus entry comes to us in the form of this rolling, remote-controlled cooler. Because there's nothing better than having your beer come to you.

Then: Wallets

A wallet used to be the only thing a man needed on him when he left the house. Except for maybe his hat, and his handkerchief.

And much like socks and neckties, every dad could use a good wallet.

Now: Wallets

Now, there's a lot more to remember when you walk out that door: credit cards, bus pass, cell phone, and more all need to find a place in Dad's pocket.

You can help him out by finding a wallet that does double-duty as a smartphone case, like this helpful Casellet.

Then: Fishing

Fishing used to be...pretty minimal. It required a little fishing line, a pole, a net, and (a whole lot of) beer.

Dads who enjoyed fishing could look forward to Father's Day gifts of lures and tackle boxes.

Now: Fishing

Like everything else on this list, fishing has gone high tech. Dad can now get details on a lake's physical and biological makeup and find the best places to drop a line with this Magellan eXplorist 510 Pro Angler Edition. It's a handheld GPS with a bundled SD card of more than 4,000 fishing hot spots, and a camera and microphone let Dad record notes on his favorites.

Then: Drinking

Here's a fun fact: In the 1800s, women smuggled gin onto warships in flasks made from pig bladders.

Fortunately, silver and pewter have become the go-to materials since, but a flask has long been one of the classiest gifts to give.

Now: Drinking

Ah, we've come a long way. While we're well past the Prohibition era that ushered in flasks, they're still a swanky way to celebrate your pops.

Plus, flasks now come in all sorts of tech-inspired shapes and sizes including the GameBoy, and the ever-ubiquitous iPhone flask, meaning even the techiest of dads can have a tipple in style.

Then: Golf

Just some guys, a tiny ball, and some really funny-looking pants.

Now: Golf

There's still a tiny ball and those funny pants to contend with, but golf has definitely taken tech advancements well in stride.

From watches that measure shot distances, to gloves that help you correct your swing, to accessories that advance your skills, there are a plethora of golf gadgets begging for Dad's attention.

Then: Family photos

Family photos used to involve gathering up the family, getting them in decent clothes (or at least getting them to smile), and waiting patiently for someone to take a shot where no one was blinking.

But hey, at least Dad had a great picture of everyone at the lake, right?

Now: Family Photos

Not only has technology made leaps and bounds in the speed with which we can take and share pictures, but the Internet has give us the glorious if dubious honors of photo filters, digital photo frames, and the Then/Now picture montage (perfectly exemplified here courtesy of an...objectionably named Reddit user).

This year, surprise Dad with a re-creation of a family photo that will keep him smiling for years to come.

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