Digital expert Carley Knobloch knows what it takes to wow your tech-geek mom! Here's 12 cool gadgets and apps.
You know how mom’s always prepared for anything? Well, that usually means that her purse is a bottomless pit of band-aids, board books and — underneath it all — her phone.
Clip a Trellie ($49.99) to her purse and she'll never miss an incoming call. This Bluetooth-enabled fashion accessory flashes fast when her phone is ringing, and then flashes slower to let her know she missed a call, so she can dig for her phone and return the call when the little league game is over.
Amazon Fire TV
There are a handful of great streaming media devices available right now, but the newest from Amazon ($99.99) has some features mom will love, like voice search (because she’s far too busy to type), and Free Time, which lets you set up profiles for each child in the house, setting daily limits and restricting content. It has more than 200,000 TV and movie titles, games and music, too.
The refrigerator magnet just got very, very cool. Native Union’s award-winning Play video recorder ($29.99) captures high-quality clips and can hold multiple messages up to three minutes in total. Easy to leave a thoughtful video and stick to the fridge so mom sees them when she’s grabbing her breakfast.
When you’re a minivan warrior like mom, running errands and rocking the carpool line, you can always use a little extra smartphone juice to keep you connected until you return home. With Kii ($19.95 to $39.95), you can plug in to any USB port, and you don’t even have to remember to bring your cable, because it’s always on your keychain. On one side you have a micro-USB or lightning connector, and on the other side is USB — ultra-portable and always with her on the go.
Everpurse blew our minds with fashion-forward clutches that charge your smartphone. Brilliant. Now, you can leave your purse at home and just bring the Mini (pre-order price: $98), a wallet that charges your phone.
Sometimes a mom just needs a brow wax. Like, right now. If she could have an app that would search for local spots that have time for a last-minute appointment and get those stellar arches by the time school lets out… well that would be amazing.
The ladies at Beautified (free) had the same bright idea: an app that searches hand-picked providers for last-minute appointments for massages, facials, manicures, blow outs and more. If your schedule is catch-as-catch-can (and if you’re a mom, yours is) then this is a game-changer.
Save your mom a trip to the warehouse club store by letting her know about Boxed (free), the iPhone or Android app that lets you order up bulk items on your smartphone or tablet and get them shipped to your door (anywhere in the continental U.S., and many items ship free). Save money, save time and there's no membership required. Just might be the best Mother’s Day suggestion ever.
The rest of the house might still be snoring, but mom’s been up since the crack of dawn. So she needs a command center that can quickly get her up to speed on what the day brings. Morning ($3.99) shows her the weather, traffic, calendar, stock prices, headlines, and tasks that must get done today. It's customizable to show her exactly what she wants to see, and it will jump-start her day like a double-shot cappuccino.
Mom wants to stay in touch when she’s away from home, even if her kids are too little for emails and texts. Toymail’s adorable mailbox ($59) makes it easy for your kids to send you voice messages that you receive in an app, and you can send them back to the device from the app as well. It’s easy to use for even the tiniest of messengers, with only two buttons to push to play and record. Now that’s the best kind of voicemail.
Cuff: Wearable Safety Tech
Wearable tech for mom that’s less Dick Tracy and more Tres Chic. Stylish cuffs, necklaces and keychains from Cuff ($50-$150) hide a secret button you can push if you’re in distress, alerting pre-selected contacts to you that you might need help. A message goes directly to their phone, along with your coordinates and important medical information.
If your mom still loved printed photos, but could do without the time sink that is choosing and printing them all herself, then she’s going to love Piccolo. Hook it up to her Instagram and Facebook, then each month it will show her all the pictures she’s taken, and she can print the ones she likes with a couple of clicks (starting at 20 prints for $10/month). You can opt for the even-less-work plan and it will automatically print the most popular photos of the bunch.
If mom’s looking for inspiration in the kitchen, and likes to listen to tunes while she’s rocking the skillet, turn her on to Turntable Kitchen ($25/month). It’s a monthly subscription box that delivers recipes, dried ingredients and a digital mixtape to her door each month, so she can pull together her own fresh and unique culinary and musical experience. Curated by the editors, who are as knowledgeable about bands as they are about cuisine.
For other tech tips and gift suggestions, follow Carley on Twitter.