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McClatchy-Tribune  06/06/2014 1:05 PM ET
Philadelphia Daily News Jonathan Takiff column [Philadelphia Daily News :: ]

June 06--WEARABLE TECH -- Out just in time for dad's day June 15, the Sony SmartBand SWR10 is a handsome fitness wristband with a whole lot going on. Working with a custom Lifelog app on an Android smartphone, Sony tracks a wearer's motion and sleep patterns and encourages a healthy lifestyle.

SmartBand is also an unobtrusive smartphone extension with alarm and vibration alert for incoming calls, messages and calender events, plus controls for music play. Wakes you genteelly; "wireless leash" warns if you've left your phone behind. Runs five days between battery charges. $99.99 at store.sony.com.

POWER RESERVOIR: The more apps "push" content to a smartphone, the faster its battery depletes. The myCharge Hub 6000 external battery guarantees that a busy dad won't lose his mobile lifeline.

Beefy 6000 mAh Lithium Ion backup delivers 27 extra hours of talk on a 3G network. Jumps out of the pack with built-in Lightning (Apple) and Micro USB connectors, a USB port, plus built-in AC prongs for fast recharging. $87.99 at amazon.com.

HEAR, HERE: Does Dad go for loud concerts and roaring sports events? His ears will thank you for a pair of Etymotic Music PRO High-Fidelity Earplugs.

These electronic dampers filter the volume but convey a good semblance of the original sound and tonal balance, thanks to an active (battery powered) volume-reduction circuit that kicks in at the hearing-loss threshold. Uses tiny button batteries, good for a week or two. $299 at etymotic.com.

_ The same price (hey, Dad's worth it) also buys your traveling man the ultracompact, in-ear Bose QuietComfort 20 (or 20i) Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones, which vanquish airplane and train noise without dimming that "Fasten your seat belt" command. $299 at Best Buy and Target.

_ For discerning listeners, over-the-ears, closed-back NAD VISO HP50 headphones (a Sound & Vision and Gizmo Guy Top Pick) run rings around the boomy Beats of the world without sacrificing anything in looks (in red, black or white) or comfort. $299 at amazon.com.

THE BACKYARDIGANS: Real men relish outdoor grilling. For nighttime sessions, the Grillight Spatula boasts a handle-integrated LED light. $29.95 at grillight.com.

_ For tailgate outings, the Grill Daddy 6-in-1- BBQ Tool Set packs tight to go. $39.99 at buygrilldaddy.com.

_ Your honorable grill master also earns a helping hand from BBQ Dragon, a clip-on, low velocity fan that acts as a "charcoal accelerator." It's micro-USB rechargeable! $49.99 at BBQdragon.com.

_ And while the Dragon's blowing up the coals, dad can chill on a chaise with a Gama Sonic cordless/rechargeable fan. A 10-inch blade spins four hours on a charge. Also boasts a built-in AM/FM radio for tuning in the game. $69 at amazon.com.

HANDYMAN'S SPECIAL: What could be new and exciting in a cordless power drill? The Black & Decker BDCDE120C introduces Auto Sense Technology. In drive mode, the drill's electronic clutch automatically stops most screws flush in the material on the first try, avoiding damage and stripped screws. It's also B&D's most compact cordless drill/driver ever. $79.97 at homedepot.com.

BEAUTY IN THE BEAST: The multifunction Philips Norelco Click & Style razor with bodygroom attachment enables a close and pretty painless shave anywhere over or below the neck. Shower water and shaving cream optional. $69.99 at Target, Rite Aid, Best Buy.

Blog: philly.com/GizmoGuy

Online: ph.ly/Tech

 

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