Five Great Tech Gifts Your Mom Really Wants
Mother’s Day is just around the corner (May 11, in case you haven’t checked your calendar lately), but you’ve still got time to buy Mom something great.
Flowers are nice, sure, but they usually don’t last more than a few days. If you want a gift that keeps on giving, head to the technology aisle. I’ve rounded up five tech gifts items that are sure to please any mom (and make your flower-bearing siblings look extra-lame).
You know what Mom really wants? Less clutter around the house. The NeatConnect works a special kind of magic by scanning and organizer all the paper: bills, receipts, business cards, and other desk-cluttering documents.
What’s especially cool about the NeatConnect, though, is that it doesn’t have to stay tethered to a PC. In fact, Mom’s PC doesn’t even have to be on: The scanner leverages Wi-Fi to send scanned materials directly to Dropbox, Evernote, and other cloud services, all via a simple touchscreen interface.
However, you may have to make this a group gift. The NeatConnect sells for $499.95, and a monthly NeatCloud subscription (which is optional, thankfully) starts at $5.99.
2. Cozi Gold
Screenshot from Cozi.com
Keeping the family’s schedules organized always seems to fall to Mom, doesn’t it? To my thinking there’s no better organizational tool than Cozi, which offers a shared, color- coded family calendar that’s accessible via PC, smartphone, or tablet.
The free version is awesome already, but a one-year Cozi Gold subscription ($29.99) adds some handy extras, including a shared contact list, a birthday tracker, VIP support, and an ad-free experience. Once Mom starts using Cozi, she’ll wonder how she ever got along without it.
Busy moms don’t have time to check the roast every five minutes. This “smart” thermometer keeps tabs on food temperature, displays cooking stats in its companion app, then sends an alert to Mom’s phone when the meat is ready to come out.
The $79.99 Kitchen Thermometer features dual probes, a digital readout, Bluetooth connectivity, and apps for all iOS devices.
Has someone finally invented the perfect smartwatch? Quite possibly. The Martian Notifier looks like a traditional (read: attractive) analog watch, but has an OLED display that shows caller ID, text messages, Twitter updates, appointment info, and so on. In other words, the Notifier lives up to its name by providing real-time notifications, chirping and/or vibrating so Mom don’t miss important items when her phone is tucked away in a pocket or purse. She can even customize the vibration patterns to distinguish between, say, texts from the boss and texts from the kids.
The watch is compatible with Android and iOS devices and has a list price of $129.99. It comes in several different colors.
Nothing enriches life like music, so why not treat Mom to a speaker she can pair with her smartphone or tablet? (Then show her how to use Pandora, Songza, or another great music-streaming app.)
Matrix Audio’s Qube2 is an amazing little Bluetooth speaker that sounds way bigger and louder than you’d expect. It’s smaller than a Twinkie (meaning it’s easily toted in a pocket or purse), yet runs for up to eight hours on its built-in rechargeable battery. The Qube2 is a little pricey at $79.99, though as of this writing Amazon has the black version for $66.43 shipped. (The red and silver ones are selling at the full list price.)
There are other Bluetooth speakers out there, and Mom would probably be pleased with any of them. If you want something a little less expensive, I recommend the GoGroove BlueSYNC DRM, a nifty portable speaker with a throwback design that would like right at home on the set of “Mad Men.” It’s $49.99.
Veteran technology writer Rick Broida is the author of numerous books, blogs, and features. He lends his money-saving expertise to CNET and Savings.com, and also writes for PC World and Wired.