Holiday | Tech
This Mother’s Day, Make Life Easier For Mom With These Tech-Savvy Gift Ideas
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Looking for gift ideas for Mother’s Day (apart from a flower bouquet) to show gratitude to your mom and the mother figures in your life? Of course, no fancy tech gadget can thank them enough, but many can make their life easier, comfortable, and safer.
This May 9th, gift-wrap a present (or two) that she would love to have at home, take to her workplace, or use on-the-go. We’ve picked out some surprising tech products that are not just ultra cool, but also efficient and mom-friendly.
Great Home Tech Gifts For Mom
Dodow Sleep Aid Device
The Deets: $59.99 at Walmart
If your mom is failing to get a good night’s rest, then this Dodow sleep aid device will come in handy. With all the extra stress and uncertainty of the pandemic, sleep problems have risen—insomnia was searched more in 2020 than ever before. Plus, women are more likely to struggle to get quality sleep at night.
The small gadget rests easily on a nightstand and when tapped, releases a blue light on the ceiling. She will breathe in as the light expands and breathe out as it contracts, slowing down her breathing and relaxing her mind. There are two settings for eight-minute and 20-minute cycles and she can even adjust its brightness according to her sensitivity to light. It won’t work for those who’re used to sleeping with an eye-mask on and some may still have trouble turning down the mental chatter, but it’s worth a try.
Google Nest Thermostat
The Deets: $129.99 at Best Buy
A smart home requires a smart temperature control. If your mom has already upped the ante with a Google Nest and smart bulbs, then the next tech upgrade for her is the Google Nest Thermostat.
Google has introduced some expensive thermostats in the past, but this newer, sleeker version is an excellent product to get into smart cooling and heating. It takes about 30 minutes to install. It automatically powers down when you leave home. She can also adjust temperature using Google Nest voice commands, from her phone, or manually by sliding her finger on its touch bar. The thermostat also gives options to save more energy and tells you if your HVAC system needs maintenance.
There’s a downside though—you may have to confirm compatibility of the device with your mom’s house, which means you’ll either need to check her heating and cooling system, or ask questions. Either way, the surprise element is out! Google did not include a Trim Kit (which hides holes and scars from old thermostat) with this Nest model, but it is sold separately, should you need it.
Arlo Video Doorbell Wired
The Deets: $149.99 $119.99 at Best Buy
A video doorbell is another feature in the house that rings safety. This Arlo Video Doorbell is an instant hit because you get a lot at a good price. The doorbell looks premium with a camera on top and button on the bottom that lights up when it detects motion. The 180-degree view and 1536 x 1536 resolution gives you a head-to-toe picture. When someone rings the bell, the app calls you on your phone and you can see who’s at the door. They can leave a message, or you can answer with pre-recorded replies remotely.
It also offers a siren to alarm the authorities if something is wrong. A live stream is available and the night vision feature is another highlight of this product. Of course, you can disarm the doorbell, too.
Now the not-so-good parts: it needs to be hard-wired on the door, so you’ll have to check if your mom has a connection. Apart from that, you will also need to factor in the subscription cost, $3 per month (first three months are free), to get additional features like cloud storage, intelligent alerts, and object detection. With its subscription, you can find out if it’s a person, an animal, or an object, and you will have to decide if this fee is worth it.
The Deets: $39.99 for a pack of two at Best Buy
Does mom always misplace her keys or constantly in search of the remote control? Or her iPad? There’s a solution for that: a bluetooth tile sticker that sticks to your stuff and tracks them (within 150 feet range). If you lose something, the app will help you locate it by sounding an alarm on the sticker. Cool, right?
But the catch is that the battery isn’t rechargeable or replaceable. Once it runs out (after a couple of years of usage), the sticker will be useless. If you and your mom are worried about e-waste, then this isn’t the ideal product to buy. However, it is a nifty tech product to help save time and keep track of frequently misplaced items.
HoMedics Shiatsu Air Max Foot Massager
The Deets: $99.99 at Best Buy
If your mom is on her feet all day long, then maybe you can buy her a product that relieves her aches and pains and relaxes her at the end of the day. Although there are many foot baths available in the market, we’re recommending this foot massager so she doesn’t even need to make the effort of filling water in the foot bath. She can just slip into this foot massager like a pair of slippers, plug in, and let it relax her and improve blood circulation. It comes with three massage modes (kneading, rolling, shiatsu) and heats up for maximum comfort. There’s no remote control, but the cord can be concealed when not in use.
Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer
The Deets: $399.99 at Best Buy
We’re bringing out the big guns now. Dyson is known for its powerful tech products—the vacuum cleaners are unbeatable. But we’re guessing your mom has a preference for her vacuum. So, splurge on something that she might not buy for herself: a top-of-the-line hair dryer for every hair type—more useful now that going to a salon has become such a luxury.
The price is steep, but she can get a salon-like blowout with this lightweight machine (1.8 pounds). It comes with a wide-tooth comb, a styling concentrator, a smoothing nozzle, and a diffuser, along with a non-slip mat. The powerful V9 motor dries hair quickly and it’s intelligent heat control doesn’t damage your hair. If you’re concerned about curly hair, experts recommend this for all hair types. It has multiple heat and speed settings and it’s not loud either.
It has a two-year warranty from Dyson, and the product is made to last. But the price is something you’d have to think about. Best Buy has a 12-month financing option with $33.34 per month for cardmembers that you can enquire about.
On-the-Go Tech Gifts That Mom Will Love
Anker Powercore Metro 20000mah Portable Charger
The Deets: $49.99 at Best Buy
The CDC has announced that fully vaccinated people can now travel safely. So, if you’re expecting a visit from mom soon, or if she’s traveling for leisure this summer, a portable charger will come in handy. This one is powerful with 20,000 mAh capacity that can power up her devices multiple times and charge two devices at once. It’s also slim, so it’s easy to carry but some customers have found it bulky. It charges your devices fast, but it’s not made for laptops.
LARQ Smart Bottle
The Deets: $95 at Best Buy
Airplane water is dirtier than you think—e coli is commonly found in major US airlines’ tap water. That’s why it’s always recommended to carry your own bottle when flying. But even for day-to-day use, a self-cleaning bottle seems a great idea, especially for those who don’t wash their reusable bottles very often. An unwashed bottle can also be brimming with bacteria and germs.
Enter LARQ Smart Bottle, a smart bottle with an UV-C LED in the cap that can eliminate up to 99.99% of harmful bacteria and viruses. You can tap the cap once for a 60-second cleaning cycle and twice for a three-minute cleaning cycle. It also self cleans every two hours.
The double-insulated bottle can keep cold liquids cool for up to 24 hours and hot liquids for up to 12 hours. You will have to charge the cap—one charge will last for two-three weeks. And, this self-cleaning bottle will still require rinsing, although not as frequently as other bottles.
The Deets: $159.99 $129.99 at Best Buy
Wired headphones are so 2010! Apple’s fantastic new offering, AirPods, come with a charging case and it’s a very convenient product. Your mum can wear them all day without any discomfort. Once you wear them, they are automatically detected by your device. You can pause a song, skip forward, pick up calls, and activate Siri without touching your phone. These also charge quickly in the case and you can use one and charge the other in the case. It comes with a USB charging cable (no adapter) to charge the case.
Although it may work with some Android devices, this product is not for Android users—there may be issues with connections and some features may not work.
Top Mother’s Day Tech Gifts For Work
Ember Smart Mug
The Deets: $129.99 at Best Buy
This one’s for coffee-loving moms purely. This smart mug uses an app (of course) to keep coffee at your chosen drinking temperature for up to an hour and a half without the charging coaster, or a full day when set on the coaster. With the app, you can choose between 120℉ and 145℉. The default is 135℉ if you want to skip another app—the LED light on the mug will tell you what the drinking temperature is. When it’s empty, the mug will go to sleep to save energy.
The smart mug will require a two-hour charge and can’t be used to reheat cold coffee (there may also be issues with milky beverages as milk curdles over time). But it will save her trips to the coffee machine and reduce wastage of cold coffee that goes down the sink. A smaller mug (10 oz) is $100. It’s a mug that makes for an always-warm customizable coffee drinking experience—definitely smarter than a ceramic mug.
Apple iPad Air (4th Gen)
The Deets: $599.99 at Best Buy
There’s much of a difference between iPad Pro and iPad Air. Both are powerful machines that Apple launched last year. For mom, iPad Air may be a marginally better choice between the two. It’s a slightly less expensive option for those who don’t need hardcore work done.
The 10.9-inch tablet comes with a liquid retina display, which is crisp and clear. It doesn’t have the face recognition that Pro does, but instead uses a touch ID. There’s an edge-to-edge display and no home button. Apple claims that the new iPad Air is equipped with its most powerful chip yet, A14 Bionic, and it has improved performance. It comes in cool colors (grey, blue, green, rose gold, and silver).
If you mom wants something lighter than a laptop to take notes and answer video calls, then the iPad Air is a pretty good idea. However, it’ll cost you extra (so much extra) to also get her the detachable Magic Keyboard and Pencil ($299 and $129) to convert this tablet into a handy laptop.