Mother's Day is just around the corner (it's Sunday, May 12 this year) … now, I can tell you from personal experience that you should probably buy the significant female in a matriarchal role in your life jewelry, wife or mother a nice piece of jewelry for Mother's Day, and the kids should get her, um ... jewelry. You need flowers (nice ones) and a card of course. But – on the outside chance that you enjoy an enlightened relationship with your mother, and are willing to give her something awesome and cool, here are my picks for the best tech gifts for mom.
I've made it well-known that I love my iPad mini. No matter where I go or what I'm doing, it's small enough to be with me at all times and lets me do just about whatever I need to do, wherever I need to do it. The best part about the iPad mini is that it means less stuff to carry … especially if you have little ones running around. You're already bringing around snacks, diaper bags, sunscreen, bug spray … who has room or arms to carry a full array of books and games, too? The iPad mini helps you stay connected on the go, but also acts as an entertainment center for your kids, too. Speaking of which…
While the LeapPad 2 is more of a gift for the kids than it is a gift for mom, it's still worthy of being mentioned on this list. The LeapPad 2 is the second-gen version of one of the most popular entertainment devices for children and is better than the first in every way. It has access to a library of thousands of educational games, apps, eBooks and videos. It's also compatible with all cartridge apps and games for the first LeapPad, so upgrading to this doesn't mean you need to start from scratch. The LeapPad offers tons of great apps for keeping kids busy – and teaching them at the same time. Apps like "My First Alphabet" or matching games help younger kids learn, while apps like Talking Tom are silly and fun.
One of the best e-readers on the market, the Kindle Paperwhite is a great option for moms who love to read. Whether they're waiting for their kid to get out of a doctor's appointment or soccer practice, the millions of books available on the Kindle marketplace will keep anyone entertained for hours. E-readers seem to be on the way out, though, as tablets have taken over the portable market and do everything an e-reader can do … plus far more. The Paperwhite is much cheaper (starting at $119) than the cheapest good tablets, and lasts far, far longer on a single charge than any tablet – and that convenience of rarely having to charge is invaluable. Most importantly, you will not cry for hours when someone sits on your Paperwhite and breaks it – this is not true for any tablet you own. Inexpensive and awesome – a great combination.
Digital Content Cards (iTunes, Amazon, etc.)
But what do you do if the mom you're buying gifts for has these gadgets already? Give her the gift of customization: digital content cards for the stores her gadgets are connected to. These cards will give her the option of getting music, movies, books and games for herself or for the kids, further increasing the value of the gadget she carries around.
Fitbit Zip – A Wireless Activity Tracker
Health and fitness monitoring devices and their associated apps are all the rage. Fitbit is one of the market leaders, with wireless trackers, smart scales and mobile tools aimed to get you more active, managing weight, and eating and sleeping better. The Zip, which tracks your steps, distance and calories burned, is a great gift for anyone – including moms – that helps you get the most out of fitness. What sets Fitbit apart from most of the health market is its integration with smartphones and web programs that sync and analyze your stats and keep you motivated. Fitbit's newest product, the Flex, does even more than the Zip – it keeps track of your sleep pattern and the quality of your sleep, too. It's hard to keep on top of staying fit, since we're all so busy – and for moms with young kids, it's even tougher. Fitbit helps you incorporate fitness into your everydayactivities, and keeps you motivated while doing so. (Also check out the MyFitnessPal, which is a free calorie counter, exercise monitor and wellness app – it seamlessly integrates with all of the Fitbit hardware.)
So there you have it. Mother's Day gifts that will help her have fun in a connected world. Let's hear it for Moms!!!
Shelly Palmer is Fox 5 New York's On-air Tech Expert (WNYW-TV) and the host of Fox Television's monthly show Shelly Palmer Digital Living. He also hosts United Stations Radio Network's, Shelly Palmer Digital Living Daily, a daily syndicated radio report that features insightful commentary and a unique insiders take on the biggest stories in technology, media, and entertainment. He is Managing Director of Advanced Media Ventures Group, LLC an industry-leading advisory and business development firm and a member of the Executive Committee of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (the organization that bestows the coveted Emmy® Awards). Palmer is the author of Television Disrupted: The Transition from Network to Networked TV 2nd Edition (York House Press, 2008) the seminal book about the technological, economic, and sociological forces that are changing everything, Overcoming The Digital Divide: How to use Social Media and Digital Tools to Reinvent Yourself and Your Career; (York House Press, 2011) and Digital Wisdom: Thought Leadership for a Connected World (York House Press, 2013). For more information, visit shellypalmer.com.
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