He might drive a minivan and keep pens shoved in his shirt pocket, but the gift of high-tech gadgetry will make Dad feel like the coolest pop on the block this Father's Day (search).
Tiny digital cameras, pocketknives with memory chips and talking thermometers are just a few of the futuristically fun offerings for the No. 1 man in your life.
"I think guys just like to tinker," said Chris Thompson, electronics buyer for Thinkgeek.com. "They love gadgets and they love to play with cool toys. You know what they say: The only difference between a man and a boy is the price of his toys."
Granted Dad's day gifts are pricier than plastic water guns and Hot Wheels (search), but luckily it's not necessary to break the bank to bestow father dear with coolness.
One of the hottest sellers right now is the James Bond Stealth camera (search), which costs $99.99, said Thompson. The tiny digital camera comes in a Zippo lighter-style case small enough to slip into Dad's pocket and takes up to 150 images. On the down side, the camera doesn't have a flash, but Thompson said it works well with fluorescent lighting and has other features that make it hip.
"The resolution on it is nice ... but it's probably not your vacation camera," he said. "Being the gadget that it is, it's great for still photos. It also has a built-in voice recorder and records video. It has a 'wow' factor to it. No one can believe you have a camera that size."
After a long day of snapping photos like 007 on a mission, Dad can retire to the back porch for a relaxing barbecue, made even easier by the latest high-tech toy from Brookstone.
The Grill Alert Talking Remote Thermometer, $75, lets Dad cook meat and veggies to perfection without worry. A wireless belt-clip monitor signals when the food is ready from up to 300 feet away so guys can go for a beer, chat with guests or take a load off in the hammock without burning dinner.
For dads who love tools, Black & Decker makes a cordless screwdriver and a digital laser tape measure that even kids with an allowance can buy without depleting their piggybank: Both cost under $30.
And paying attention to Dad's memory isn't just a joke about his advancing age -- there are several inventive tools that make saving and transporting computer data a cinch
The USB Memory Watch, $189.99, tells time and stores 512 megabytes of information. The cleverly built-in cable can transfer data to and from most operating systems, so no matter where Dad goes, he can carry MP3s, digital pictures and files while being punctual at all times.
A classic Dad key chain has also been updated for the computer age. The Swiss Army knife (search), complete with the traditional fold-up tools like scissors and screwdriver, is now available with a built-in USB flash drive that holds at least 64 megabytes, for $69.99. For frequent-flier dads, the knife is also available without sharp objects so it can pass through airport security.
Thompson said the great thing about gadgets such as the memory knife is that they incorporate technology "into everyday items you would carry anyway, so you're not forced to carry another item."
"They're taking advantage of what you already use," he said.
For those dads who have trouble asking for directions, a phone with built-in GPS or hands-free GPS system for the car could be ideal.
Steve Kruschen, also known as "Mr. Gadget," recommends the Garman 2620 GPS navigation system (search), which "barks out" the directions, contains maps for the U.S. and Canada and is the "first and only one with a wireless remote."
And that's not the only location-oriented gadget around. Ron Geraci, features editor of the AARP magazine, said fathers who like to fish but get bored waiting for the slippery creatures to bite, can now get help.
"If your father is a fisherman there are gadgets called 'fish finders' that use a sonar in the water to find out where the fish are," he said.