Sunday, May 01, 2016

Mother's Day Gift Guide - Tech Edition 2016

Mother's Day is coming up soon and if you're like me, you're thinking that mom, grandma and your wife are tired of getting flowers and massage gift certificates each year. It's 2016 and that means the women in your life will appreciate getting technology gifts just as much as your dad on Father's Day.

From tablets and fitness tracking watches to smart home appliances and high quality headphones, there are so many impressive tech gadgets to choose from this year for Mother's Day. Mom might not be craving a drone yet, but she'd appreciate a security camera or a smart scale to track her daily health. Most of these products are easy to use right out of the box so you won't have to spend a lot of time helping mom with the setup or teaching her how to use them. Whether you're shopping for an elderly mother this Mother's Day or you want to show your wife how much you appreciate all she does for your kids, you can't go wrong with any of these cool tech products -- and of course you'll find yourself wanting to borrow them too!

Here's a rundown of some quality tech products Mom will appreciate this Mother's Day:

LivSecure Home Security System - This is the best Do-It-Yourself home security kit on the market because it offers a 24/7 monitoring services in addition to being easy to install. The kit comes with an easy-to-use control panel, door/window sensors, a motion sensor, a smoke detector and a key fob. Users can add more sensors in addition to connecting smart thermostats, smart electrical sockets, garage doors, and indoor or outdoor security cameras. LivSecure uses for mobile monitoring, which means you can keep track of your home's security all day and night with your phone or tablet. If you want mom to feel safe, give her the gift of security. Use code MOMSDAY for free equipment. Prices vary based on plan and equipment.

Onanoff iPad Air Sound Cover - Imagine Mom's frustration when she's in her kitchen trying to follow a recipe on YouTube, but the sound of the hand mixer makes it impossible to hear the chef give the next instruction. Onanoff's Sound Cover solves that problem. It is a unique iPad Air smart cover with built-in flat NXT stereo speakers, offering powerful and high quality sound, boosting the iPad's volume by up to 400%. The covers come in gold, grey and tactical black and it is ultra-thin and lightweight. On sale for $129.99

Blink Security Cameras - Blink is a completely wireless, battery-operated system that delivers instant monitoring from any location through the Blink app. More homeowners are turning to security cameras to protect and monitor their homes and the majority of these rely on more than one camera. Blink is affordable and and it's easy to add more cameras. Blink is ideal for a new mom looking for cameras to keep an eye on the baby or for an elderly mother you want to keep safe. Comparable to Netgear's Arlo security cameras, Blink offers motion detection, 720p HD video capture, instant alerts and live on-demand streaming. 5-camera system $299 (add cameras $60)

Proof - Carter Lloyd is a river guide in Moab, Utah, who was looking for a water-proof way to carry his phone on the river while still being able to enjoy the music coming from its speaker. So, Lloyd created Proof, a fully water-proof, Bluetooth connected speaker and microphone, phone pouch combo. Proof is currently available below wholesale cost for early backers on Kickstarter. If Mom needs to keep her phone safe from water this summer at the pool, swimming in the ocean or canoeing down the river, Proof would make a useful Mother's Day gift. Available on

Rachio Sprinkler Control - You can give your mother the nicest, most meaningful Mother's Day greeting card, but she'll really feel appreciated when you give her Rachio this year. Rachio is a smart sprinkler controller that will make mom's life much easier this summer. This product makes running sprinklers easy and convenient while saving water and money. There's no guessing with lawn watering anymore because Rachio automatically creates a watering schedule to make the lawn look great and saves more of that precious resource for the environment. Rachio's mobile app provides sprinkler system access from anywhere. It also integrates with more than 8 different platforms like Nest, Amazon Alexa, IFTTT, Wink and more. $199.99 (8 zones); 249.99 (16 zones)

Tivo Bolt - If your mother loves watching TV, she'll really love the Tivo Bolt. If she isn't a big TV viewer, she will be when she gets this for Mother's Day. Tivo's been around for many years, but the company hasn't rested on its laurels. The Bolt simply crushes the competition with so many great features like the ability to completely skip commercials with the click of one button once, a QuickMode to binge watch shows in a hurry and an enormous hard drive to save more TV shows and movies than she'll ever have time to watch. The best part about the Tivo Bolt is its beautiful, intuitive and easy-to-navigate graphical interface. $299.99 (MSRP)

Magellan MiVue 658 DashCam - Dashboard cameras haven't been as popular in America as in other countries, but that's beginning to change. Magellan's MiVue 658 allows drivers to conveniently view the time stamp and GPS location stamp on 1080p HD video playback for post-accident analysis. If Mom gets into an accident you'll be able to download and view the videos for insurance purposes. MiVue has a clear 2.7" display that features a touch sensitive screen for superior DashCam control, in addition to a wide angle lens to provide enhanced peripheral views. MiVue 658 will even wake up and record on any impact it detects while the car is parked. A free MiVue companion smartphone app is available to download. $249.99

QardioBase WiFi Smart Scale - In the olden days giving your mother a bathroom scale for Mother's Day might have come across as an insult, but in the Digital Age, a gift like the QardioBase smart scale will be appreciated. Giving Mom Qardio, a CES 2016 award winner, shows you care about her health and want her to have the advantages of new technology to help her live longer. The QardioBase measures body mass index (BMI), muscle mass, body fat percentage, water and bone composition in addition to weight. With its Smart Feedback Mode, QardioBase will help your mom or wife reach her long term fitness goals with reminders and encouragement. The Qardio App automatically stores data in Qardio’s secure cloud. It works with Apple Health and integrates with Apple HealthKit. A pregnancy mode helps expecting moms track progress. $129.99

Fitbit Blaze - The most important thing to remember about Fitbit watches is that they are meant for fitness and not as a substitute for a smartwatch like the Apple Watch. Blaze is quite similar to previous Fitbit models, but boasts a much better battery life and can act like a traditional watch. Fitbit Blaze will fetch incoming call notifications and display SMS text alerts and calendar reminders. A nice addition is the ability to control music from the watch. Like other fitness trackers, Blaze will encourage Mom to get out and get moving to reach her daily steps goal and it will also record "active exercise" when it senses she's working out after ten minutes. $200

Microsoft Band 2 - Microsoft Band 2 is the perfect gift for the active mother or mother of your kids. This fitness band looks beautiful and offers a lot for athletes -- from running and biking to golf and strength conditioning. Band 2 boasts an ergonomic, comfortable feel and the battery will last for 2 days before needing to recharge. As someone who is sensitive to the sun, I appreciate the UVI (Ultraviolet Index) tile on Band 2 that informs me of the UV level to know when sunscreen is needed. Being able to take advantage of the GPS feature by adding golf course information will be an added bonus if Mom loves to golf. $249.99 (MSRP)

Samsung Galaxy Tab A - This 8-inch tablet with 16GB is a force to reckon with. Mom will love being able to read books on it in addition to taking photos and video (5MP camera in front; 2MP in back) and watching her favorite movies on a plane or at the beach this summer. She can work straight from the tablet with Microsoft Office apps and then switch over to "Kids Mode," which hides personal content. Bluetooth and GPS enabled, the Galaxy Tab A boasts a strong battery life and offers an Ultra Power Saving Mode that turns the screen to black and white and shuts off nonessential apps so Mom will get maximum battery life. On sale at $169.99

Tado Smart AC Control - You know how much you hate it when Mom calls to tell you it's too cold or too hot in her home? Well, the Tado Smart AC Control uses her phone's geolocation to control her Air Conditioning unit from anywhere and at any time. You'll be able to give your mother the ability to control her AC unit from her phone or you can do it for her. The bonus is that you'll help her control her energy costs by using the app's smart schedule of temperatures to match her daily routines. Tado is actually a smarter device than Nest and easier to set up. $199.00

DoorBird - With the German-made DoorBird Mom will never miss a visitor. She can speak with her visitors and open the door using her smartphone from anywhere. DoorBird won't allow her to miss any more deliveries since she'll be alerted immediately. There is perfect all-round visibility thanks to DoorBird's integrated high-end motion sensor, which lets Mom know what happens in front of her home at all times. Additionally, the 180° infrared motion sensor can set off an alarm without the visitor ringing the doorbell. DoorBird's easy to install, has a HDTV camera, will connect to an existing doorbell, connects to WiFi, and logs visitor history. $349

Logitech Circle - Give your mother or spouse a new way to stay connected to the family with Logitech’s Circle Home Connection Camera. This portable home security camera captures the moments that happen at home every day and delivers them through a simple mobile app. With Day Briefs, Mom can see a full day’s highlights of the home’s activities in just 30 seconds and then easily save the 30-second brief to share with family or view again later. $199.99

Kube Clock - I discovered the Kube Clock at a hotel and realized it would make a great Mother's Day gift. This 21st century bedside alarm clock comes in black or white and has wireless charging, Bluetooth mode, built in cables for Apple and Android devices, and easy to use controls. Imagine how excited Mom will be when she can just drop her phone on top of the clock at night and it will be fully charged in the morning, plus she can charge multiple devices at once. $149; $179 (wireless)

NewerTech Kitchen Kit - This is an ideal gift for a mother or wife who loves cooking and baking, but needs a convenient stand for her iPad in the kitchen. NewerTech, which also makes a line of well-designed, beautiful phone, tablet and notebook cases, created the Kitchen Kit iPad stand to allow anyone working in the kitchen to use their tablet cleanly and easily while cooking. The Kitchen Kit includes the NewerTech NuStand 360 iPad holder that rotates 360 degrees and pivots up and down and the NewerTech NuScribe Stylus, which functions as a stylus and twist-barrel ballpoint pen. The stand features a soft touch, scratch-resistant rubberized black aluminum finish and a weighted, anti-skid rubber base with removable silicone blocks. $24.99

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