If you fancy yourself a family man with an affinity for technology and social media, Michael Sheehan’s HighTechDad.com blog and website, “…where technology and fatherhood collide…” is a must read. The SanFrancisco bay area resident evangelizes technology professionally and describes himself and his mission thusly, “Avid technologist, blogger, social media pundit, loving husband and father of 3 beautiful girls. I write about technology, gadgets, software, hardware, parenting “hacks,” and other tips & tricks. I’m a fan of all technology that is new, exciting and valuable. ”
In addition to doling out web 2.0 advice and gauging the technology pulse of readers with interactive polls, Mr. Sheehan offers comprehensive and practical product reviews aimed at facilitating more productive and efficient management of home and office technology. A perfect example is his review of Universal Remote Control’s Digital R50 remote aptly timed for Father’s Day gift hunters looking beyond the paisley neck adornment or processed meat log.
High Tech Dad’s review assesses all the relevant aspects of universal remote control usage including: ergonomics, programming, functionality and even advanced features some folks may never even recognize exist such as:
Sofa Mode – “I thought that I should mention one really innovative feature called Sofa Mode which preserves battery life by shutting off the device after a certain period of time if a button is pressed for an extended period of time. This could be if the remote is under a pillow on a couch or something. Good thinking!”
High Tech Dad’s review is thorough and astute, convincing us of the R50’s value, but it begs the question, why would Dad want a universal remote anyways?
The most obvious answer can be summed up in a single made-up word: de-clutterfication. The lead photo for this review shows a common coffee table scene for many familes; the hodgepodge of gray, black and white rectangle boxes used to control everything from the ceiling fan to the Betamax to the Bluray player. Unlike cooking where it’s neccessary to have a drawer full of knives so you’re not peeling apples with a meat cleaver or de-boning fish with a bread knife, digital and A/V entertainment can and should be managed as efficiently as possible.
The programming aspect scares many users but URC’s intuitive interface will make Dad feel like he’s playing with a new toy and not struggling to “Get the damn thing set up!”as he did with the multi-level DIY birdhouse from days of yore. Dad can also browse supported components with ease and program the R50 without the migraines created from scrutinizing a six-point font manual with thousands of programming codes and entering them all individually.
Technology is supposed to make our lives convenient and more efficient. In our efforts to be tech-chic, we often clutter ourselves with so many entertainment options that controlling them all can become a burden. The Digital R50 streamlines access to and control of entertainment while giving dad a sense of accomplishment and personalization as he formats its commands to his manly tastes. It may not have the smoky, overprocessed flavor of a cured meat log but I’d be willing to bet a dilapidated birhouse that most dads would be happy to receive the R50 this Father’s Day.
Posted by: Nick