It's just over a week until Mother's Day, when we all celebrate the moms in our lives. Whether it's your own mother, spouse, sister, grandmother, friend, or another special mom in your life, flowers, candies, a card, and some quality time are all great ideas. (Some peace and quiet would do nicely as well.) But why not throw some great tech in there as well?
There are plenty of tech products that will appeal to all kinds of moms. Here are some great options from which to choose for any mom on your list.
Urbanista Stockholm True Wireless Earbuds
Grab mom a pair of true wireless earbuds she can use while on-the-go, or for quiet listening at home. They offer an impressive 14 hours of rated listening time through extra charges from the included matching charging case, and 3.5 hours of listening per charge. Available in a variety of trendy colour options and compatible with both Android and iOS devices, they have simple touch control features so you can switch tracks, adjust volume, answer incoming calls, and activate voice assistants like Siri and Google Assistant. There's a noise-cancelling dual microphone on the right earbud. Compact and lightweight, the case is designed with round and soft edges. $129
Amazon Echo Input
With the Amazon Echo Input, mom can make any speaker in the home Alexa-enabled, and thus controllable by voice. Connect it to just about any third-party speaker via 3.5mm audio cable or Bluetooth. A custom four-microphone array will let mom talk to Alexa from across the room, even while music is playing. Once connected, use the external speaker to do everything you would with an Alexa-enabled speaker, including asking questions, playing music, reading the news, controlling smart home devices, adding items to a to-do or shopping list, and more. Speakers can also be added to a new or existing Multi-Room Music group for synchronized streaming throughout the home. If you have multiple Echo devices within hearing distance, Amazon's Echo Spatial Perception (ESP) technology intelligently calculates the clarity of your voice and determines which Echo is closest and should respond to the request. Support for both English and French, $45
Sonos and Ikea SYMFONISK Table Lamp and Wi-Fi Speaker
If mom loves everything Ikea, consider getting her an IOU for this upcoming product, one of the first to come from the Ikea and Sonos partnership. Designed to blend into any home and produce both light and sound - two factors that provide ambiance - the lamp will also help declutter space, since you're getting two devices in one. The lamp is compatible with Sonos speakers, and can be controlled via the Sonos app, so it's a perfect addition to a home that is already set up with one or more Sonos speakers. It's shown above with the SYMFONISK compact bookshelf speaker. $249 If you want to grab her something immediately that will work with this lamp, you can start her off with a Sonos One speaker (also $249), which can be controlled by voice using both Alexa and Siri. Mom can use it to play her favourite music or podcasts, ask questions, read news, find out the weather and traffic, and more.
Fitbit Versa Smartwatch
Any mom will appreciate a smartwatch and activity tracker. This one can track not only sports, exercise, and steps, but also sleep (including detailed sleep data), calories burned, and continuous heart rate. Plus, she can receive notifications from favourite apps, e-mail, and incoming calls and messages on the large screen, and customize the screen's look based on her mood or outfit. There are different coloured and styled bands as well to suit every mom's style. It fits nicely and inconspicuously, and is water-resistant so she can comfortably wear it all day. $250
Audio-Technica QuietPoint ATH-ANC900BT Wireless Active Noise-Cancelling Headphones
If mom is looking for a good pair of headphones for premium sound, and to use while traveling for work (or pleasure), these feature the company's digital hybrid active noise cancellation (ANC) technology, which uses multiple microphones and exclusive noise-isolation techniques. The microphones' digital feedback and feed-forward design eliminates the possibility of picking up unwanted audio signals that could affect noise-cancelling performance. The touch and swipe control system is an ergonomic, easy way to regulate volume and control playback in compatible devices. With the switchable quick hear-through button, you can hear environmental sounds for safer use outdoors, or block them for more private listening. They support Bluetooth aptX, AAC, and SBC codecs, can deliver Hi-Res Audio playback from sources when connected with the included cable, and are compatible with Audio-Technica's AT Connect app for iOS and Android. Get up to 35 hours battery life with both Bluetooth and noise-cancelling, or use them in wired mode. Mom might even find them useful to immerse herself in some relaxing tunes, or just plain quiet, when she finally has the house to herself for a few hours. MAP $370
Scosche Full HD Dash Cam
Help mom feel safer in the car with this dash cam powered by Nexar that contributes information about cities and highways for other drivers to access. Pair it with a smartphone and the Nexar app, record drives, and store vehicular events to the Nexar Cloud. In the event of an accident, the app uses sensors in the phone and the camera's 3-Axis accelerometer to detect and record the incident and generate and submit a detailed insurance report to participating insurance companies. With its 140-degree wide-angle lens and Sony low-light image sensor, the Dash Cam works with a smartphone and the Nexar app to allow any vehicle to join the crowdsourced Vehicle-to-Vehicle safety network. The camera starts and stops recording automatically as you drive. A capacitive-touch "event" button marks significant events and footage. Easy to install, it comes with detailed instructions, tools and ties, and a cable and charger.
Apple Watch (Series 4)
This smartwatch is versatile, has features that appeal to a wide variety of users, and, let's face it, it's the smartwatch of choice for iPhone owners. For the mom on your list who isn't willing to fork over the money to get it for herself, go ahead and surprise her with one. She'll like the ability to track workouts, heart rate and sleep, and the working mom will like being able to keep on top of what's going on at the office via notifications of messages, calls, calendar appointments, and more. While it's an expensive option for grandma or older moms, if you're worried about her health, she can wear this so you get notifications if she has a hard fall. It starts at $519, but make sure to add a fashionable watchband to with it.
Dyson Airwrap Styler
Women of all ages would love to try out the Airwrap styler, a styling tool that can be used to create curls, waves, and smooth blow drying without extreme heat. Its core feature is the ability to create the Coanda effect, which occurs when a high-speed jet of air flows across a surface and, due to differences in pressure, the air flow attaches itself to the surface. Thus, you can style hair using only air combined with heat, resulting in a natural look with a sleek finish, and helping prevent extreme heat damage. It comes in three variants with specific attachments, designed with different hair types and desired looks in mind. The pre-styling dryer attachment prepares hair for styling using a fast but diffused airflow. Engineered for all hair types, it's designed to dry hair to the ideal moisture level (damp to touch) before using the curling barrels. The soft smoothing brush is engineered to add body and volume to fine, flat hair while creating a smooth, blow dry finish. Ball-tipped bristles allow for increased tension to help keep hair aligned to the brush. The 40mm Airwrap barrel is used to create loose curls or waves for thicker, coarser hair that has some shape; and the 30mm Airwrap barrel to create voluminous curls or waves for most hair types. Use the firm smoothing brush to create a straighter style with less frizz. It is engineered to tame and smooth thicker, coarser hair, with firm straight bristles to help create tension and reduce tangling. The round volumizing brush creates volume and shape, and is ideal for creating tension to shape finer, thinner and straighter hair. The Dyson Airwrap Volume + Shape is engineered to add body and volume to fine, flat hair. It comes with the pre-styling dryer, 2 30mm barrels, and the soft and round brush, and sells for $600. The Airwrap Smooth + Control to control and smooth frizz prone hair is also $600 and comes with the pre-styling dryer, two 40mm barrels as well as a pair of 30mm, and a firm brush. And the Airwrap Complete, for multiple hair types, is $650, and includes all of the same accessories as the first two combined.
Tile Bluetooth Tracker
If mom is constantly misplacing her phone, camera, car keys, or other important items, a Tile tracker is a thoughtful and useful gift. And the latest versions are great because instead of needing to be replaced every year or so, they work on coin-cell batteries, which you can buy on the cheap at any local convenience or general store, and swap out as needed. Clip one onto your car keys, slot it into a wallet or purse, or strap it onto a backpack or camera, pair it with the app, and you'll be able to locate your items with the quick push of a button on your phone. The tracker will buzz so you can follow the noise if it's wedged beneath the couch cushions. Or if you forgot the item somewhere, you can pinpoint the location from the app, thanks to the network of Tile users from around the world. They can also work in reverse: if you can't find your phone, press the button on the Tile twice and it will make your phone chime loudly. There's the Tile Pro ($40), which has a range of up to 300 feet, and the Mate ($30), which can go up to 150 feet. But as long as there's another Tile user within range of your tracker, with Bluetooth on on his device, you can find your way back to the list item. A two-pack that includes both black and white versions of the Pro will sell for $70; as well as $110 for a four-pack, and $70 for a Mate/Slim combo four-pack.
Peloton Home-Connected Exercise Bike
Every mom aspires to lose weight, get fit, and do more exercise. But usually, like gets in the way, making going to a gym three times a week tough to swing. This exercise bike will be a dream with those who have room in the house to set one up. Each bike includes a display on which you can access a variety of live and on-demand exercise classes, all produced in Peloton's New York City studio. Essentially, she can attend an actual "class" right from her home, at a time that suits her best. You can check them out at the new showroom at 130 Bloor St. W. or in Yorkdale Mall in Toronto; at CF Chinook Centre in Calgary; and in the West Edmonton Mall. Buy them online as well at www.onepeloton.ca. The bike is $2,960, which includes delivery and set-up, then it's $49/mo. to access unlimited classes that also include floor workouts like running, bootcamp, strength, stretching, and yoga.
Instant Pot Multicooker
I can't think of one mom who doesn't want, or already have, an Instant Pot, or is, at the very least, curious about the versatile small kitchen appliance. There are a number of models, ranging in price from $100 to a few hundred. Look at a higher-end option like the Ultra 10-in-1, which will help busy moms pressure cook dinners in a fraction of the time that it would typically take. Cook meats, poultry, fish, rice, porridge hard-boiled eggs, bake cakes, cook potatoes and vegetables, slow cook meats, and even experiment with homemade yogurt. The possibilities are endless. Ladies who love to cook will appreciate trying their tried and true recipes in one, and those who don't will thank you for the ease of which they can now make healthy and delicious meals.
Bell Crave Subscription
What was once CraveTV and The Movie Network (TMN) has now just become Crave, and mom will love being able to access tons of hot television series for binging on lazy Sunday nights in. She can try and catch up on Game of Thrones by binging the entire first 7 seasons (hurry as the series final season 8 is almost done!) As well as watch old favourites, like Seinfeld, and other original content, like Letterkenny. Plans start at $9.99/mo., or double the price ($19.98/mo.) to add access to HBO's current line-up of series, movies, documentaries and specials, along with Hollywood movies. Sign her up for a year, and if she loves it, you can renew for 2020.
iRobot Roomba i7+ Robot Vacuum
A vacuum might seem like an odd gift for a mom ("so you think all I do is clean, and I actually enjoy it?!) But when it's a high-tech robotic one that means mom can spend less of her time cleaning and more time relaxing, she'll jump for joy. This one is especially neat for making clean-up even easier through the addition of a Clean Base, which collects up to 30 bins of dirt over time via the Automatic Dirt Disposal system. Once the vacuum is finished cleaning, it goes back to its dock, and automatically empties the contents into the base. Once the base is full, then you can empty it. Use the iRobot app to initiate a clean, or voice via Alexa and Google Assistant, or even set the machine on a schedule, to clean the floors on the main level every Friday at noon, for example. So mom can put her feet up when she gets home, and reduce cleaning time by at least a few hours every month. $1,250 for the vacuum and the Clean Base. (You can also get it for $900 without the Clean Base.) Dirt disposal bags are $20 per pack of three.
Philips Avance Collection High Speed Blender
Mom will love being able to make smoothies in the morning or after an intense workout or morning run with this blender. But she can use it for other things as well, including crushing seeds or hard nuts, mashing potatoes, or blending sauces or soups. It has 5 pre-programmed modes and a manual mode with variable speed options. Moms with young kids or new babies will also appreciate the noise reduction dome that keeps things quiet. It offers 1,800 watts and a motor speed that goes up to 35,000 rpm to pulverize hard ingredients and release a higher amount of nutrients. It comes with a booklet that contains 30 recipes to get mom started, for everything from smoothies to soups and even dough.
Fitbit Inspire HR Fitness Tracker
The first thing mom will notice on the new Fitbit Inspire HR ($129.95) is its design. It is simply elegant with smartly contoured sides hiding its depth. It's as deep as the wider Charge 3, but narrower and more refined. The two sized bands gently thicken where they attach to the device, also with subtle contours underneath. The net result is a tracker that fools the eye and is a delight to wear. The Inspire HR comes in three colour combos: black, lilac/black, and white/black. The Inspire ($99.95) comes in black or sangria. The HR model feature 24/7 heart rate, resting heart rate, heart rate zones, cardio fitness level, sleep stages, real-time pace and distance, 15+ goal-based exercise modes, and guided breathing sessions. Both also feature all-day activity, all-day calorie burn, food logging, automatic exercise recognition, up to five days battery, swimproof + swim tracking, sleep tracking. Intuitive touchscreen display, on-screen dashboard, reminders to move, notifications, timer and stopwatch, female health tracking, clock faces, and wireless sync. While the Inspire HR is better bang for the buck over the Inspire, and has a nicer band, if mom doesn't need the real time pace/distance, more apps, or being able to read more message lines than on the larger Charge 3, she is gaining in a much slimmer tracker that does everything else. The optional bands, like the new Horween Leather Double Wrap ($44.95), are eyecatchers, so you might want to throw one of those in, too. - Steve Makris
Philips HUE Play Smart LED Light Bar
Mom will appreciate the Hue Play Smart LED light bar double pack ($170). The lights cast a gentle light on walls, ceilings or behind plants and furniture, with a choice of 15 million colours. What is different over any other colour LED home light is the unique 4 x 25 cm light source projecting even and more gentle light. Quick glances of simulated sunsets or custom light shows, controlled with free HUE phone apps, will bring calm to mom's otherwise hectic life. - Steve Makris