11 Gadget Gifts to Make Her Gush

For Mom's Day: High-tech gifts to make life easier and show that you care.

May 4, 2009, 7:19 PM

May 6, 2009— -- She'd probably love any gift that came from you. But why not give your mother the gift she'd never get for herself?

Whether she's happiest curling up with a book and a cup of tea, poking around in the garden or relaxing with a glass of wine, there might be a high-tech way to make her even happier.

Here's a sampling of our favorite ideas.

Easy Bloom Plant Sensor

Your siblings are bound to give her flowers, but you can one-up them by giving her a healthy garden.

The Easy Bloom Plant Sensor makes it easier than ever to plan and maintain the perfect garden.

You just stick the sensor anywhere in your yard where you'd like to grow a plant and, over 24 hours, let it take in data related to soil moisture, sunlight, drainage, and other factors.

Once you take it out of the ground and plug the USB end into your computer, it tells you all the flowers, shrubs and trees that are best suited for your environment.

The Web site has a database of 5,000 plants and works with Windows and Mac operating systems.

For $59.99, it's available online at EasyBloom.com and other e-commerce sites, as well as in-store at places like Home Depot and Brookstone.

Electric Wine Opener

If she sometimes likes to unwind with a glass of wine, Oster's 4208 Inspire Electric Wine Opener with Wine Chiller might be the gift for her.

With this electric bottle opener she can remove wine corks just by pressing one button and it is supposed to open 30 bottles on one charge. It comes with a foil cutter, recharging base and stainless steel wine chiller.

It's available on ShopOster.com for $37.99 and on Amazon.com for $29.50. It also comes with a one-year limited warranty.

Teavana's Perfect Tea Maker

For the mom who'd rather a cup of jasmine tea than a cup of joe, Teavana's $17.95 Perfect Teamaker is sure to hit the spot.

She can add loose leaves of her tea of choice to 16 oz. of hot water and then steep. The tea is drained by placing the Teamaker on top of any mug. It prepares two 8 oz. cups of tea and is dishwasher safe. It's available in-store or online at Teavana.com.

Nintendo DS: The Spring Edition

I know what you're thinking: "My mother would NEVER play a video game!"

"Grand Theft Auto" and "Mario Car" might not interest in her in the least, but Nintendo's non-traditional games might be right up her alley.

"Personal Trainer: Cooking," for example, highlights more than 245 recipes from around the world and gives you step-by-step verbal directions. (Could be perfect for a new mom just starting to trade reservations for home-cooked meals.)

Technology for Book Worms

The Brain Age games are perfect for boomers (or just about anyone) eager to keep their minds agile with puzzles and math exercises.

"Personal Trainer: Walking" is expected May 25 and will come with wireless pedometers that sync with the device to help users keep track of their daily exercise.

The new bundle -- that combines the new lime green DS with "Personal Trainer: Cooking" and a carrying case -- hit the stores over the weekend and is available in-stores and online for $149.99.


If she's rarely without a book in hand, Amazon's Kindle might be the gift she's been waiting for. At $359, it's certainly not cheap, but isn't that why we have siblings? The sleek e-reader could be a great joint gift from all of your mother's children.

Word on the street is that Amazon will unveil a larger version, which is better suited for newspapers, on Wednesday.

But the old version, as thin as most magazines and lighter than your average paperback, downloads a book in less than 60 seconds using the 3G wireless network.

More than 275,000 titles, plus other U.S. and international publications, are available, mostly for $9.99.

Photo Key Chains Galore

What mother wouldn't want 100 pictures of her favorite people in her pocket?

Available in a range of prices and sizes, photo key chains (and mini albums) are a great gift option for moms who are always asking after photographs of her kids and grand-kids.

You might want to pre-load the device to get her started, but they're very easy to use.

The Heart Keychain from Nextar (top left) with a 1.5" screen is $14.99 on Amazon.com, has a rechargeable built-in battery and stores up to 60 images.

With a list price of $19.99, Coby's Cliphanger Key Chain (right) also stores 60 images and uses a rechargeable battery. It has a USB port, which makes it easier to transfer files, and a digital clock display.

At $79.99 at Brookstone.com, Brookstone's Pocket Digital Album is a little pricier. But it holds up to 4,000 images and displays them on a larger 3.5" screen. It also lets you organize pictures in customizable folders.

Coby's 1.5" square key chain is the bargain of the lot. It can store up to 60 photos (depending on the resolution) and has a USB port.

Cleaning 2.0: Self-Propelled Vacuum Cleaners

iRobot's Roomba

When you were younger, she cleaned up after you. Now's your chance to make it up to her.

About the size of a serving platter, the Roomba by iRobot is a self-propelled, computer-controlled vacuum cleaner. Launched in 2002, the Roombas now vacuum, sweep and wash carpets and floors.

The lastest devices are on the more expensive side. For example, the floor-washing Scooba 380 is $449.99. But a Roomba Floorvac in an eye-catching shade of red can be had for $149.99 on Amazon. com.

It can be let loose in a large space or penned into a smaller area and will clean for two hours continuously, eventually finding its own way back to the charger.

Customized Flip Mino HD

Not only does the Flip MinoHD quickly and crisply capture high-quality video, now, it lets you design the encasement.

You can easily upload a favorite picture or child's drawing to Flip's Web site and then order a camera decorated with that design.

The customizable version is $229.99 but older versions are available for $150.

The camera can store up 60 minutes of video that can be easily transferred to a computer with a pull-out USB arm.

Edited clips can be shared on YouTube and other video sites or sent to friends and family using e-mail or greeting cards.

Sony Cyber-Shot Digital Camera in Pink

Just for Mother's Day, Sony is offering a specially-priced bundle that includes a pink Cyber-Shot camera, 2GB memory card and case for $149.99.

The S980 Cyber-Shot is equipped with Sony's image stabilization technology that reduces camera blurring and makes it easier to snap good pictures in low-light situations.

It also features the company's Face Detection technology that recognizes up to 8 human faces and adjusts the settings to produce crisp group photos.

Keeping Fit the High-Tech Way


This little gadget is every health nut's dream. Stick the $99 FitBit Tracker in your pocket and it will track your daily exercise and sleep habits automatically.

Using an accelerometer, the FitBit tracks your movement and then converts steps into calories.

Once you walk within 25-50 feet of the base station (that comes with it), the wireless device uploads your information to the FitBit Web site. You just have to sign in to your account online to see your daily progress.

Here's the catch: It won't be available until late June or early July, but you can sign up at FitBit.com to pre-order or receive a notification the moment it goes on sale.


If your mother is absolutely not the tech-loving kind, she will still love this option.

Through Apple or Hewlett-Packard, you can create a photo book, scrap book or cook book with your very own pictures.

At this point, you probably won't be able to get the book ready in time. But you could pick and choose photos and create a book together.

iPhoto books start at $9.99, with the large soft-cover books priced at $19.99 and the large hard-cover books priced at $29.99.

HP photo books start at $12.99 and part of the proceeds from some books will go to the Entertainment Industry Foundation Women's Cancer Research Fund.

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