Mother’s Day 2017 – Part I – Gifts for the 50+ Mom

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Here we are once again heading towards Mother’s Day. Of course, you can never fully show your appreciation for all that Mom has done, but we have some gifts for the tech savvy mother in your life that will let her know how grateful you are. This year’s list runs the gamut from fitness to fun, from kitchen to bedroom, and from entertainment to productivity.

Electric Assist Bike – Okay, we know, we know, not everyone can afford to get this kind of gift for mom, even though you know she’s worth it. But think about it. Here’s a gift that will really keep on giving. The Pedego Boomerang e-bike has an extremely low step through frame making it super easy to get on and off. It can be used as a non-powered bike, just calling on throttle power when she encounters a tough hill or gets tired. Or she can use any of four power assist levels to make the going easier. Her new bike will help her stay fit, and enable her to keep up with her kids and grandkids. Prices begin at $2295. You can buy one online or at your local Pedego dealer.



Telephoto Digital Camera – If your mom loves to travel but isn’t satisfied with the snapshots from a smartphone, she might be really happy with the Canon Powershot SX720 HS. The most outstanding feature of the camera is the telephoto lens, a 40x Optical Zoom (24-960mm) means Mom can capture close-up portraits of family, landmarks in the distance and virtually everything in between. It has built-in Wi-Fi®* and NFC** connectivity. It is rated at 20.3 Megapixels, and will let her shoot video in 1080 Full HD video. Price is $349.

Photo-Scanning Package – In the days before digital photography, Mom probably took dozens or even hundreds of memorable pictures. Here’s a great way for her to get them organized and into a digital format that she can easily share with the family. ScanMyPhotos will let Mom pack up to about 1800 standard size photos and ship them off in a pre-paid box. She gets back a DVD or thumb drive as well as the original photos. This is a great way to organize, protect, and share those irreplaceable memories. Price for the photo scanning service is $145 but they are offering Mother’s Day discounts. There are also packages to digitally convert slides and home movies.

Senior Smartphone – If Mom wants the Internet connectivity and data features of a smartphone with features especially for her but without the hassle of small icons, she might enjoy the Jitterbug Smart from GreatCall. The Jitterbug Smart is designed to be easy to use from the moment she turns it on. A new, 35% bigger screen makes it even easier to stay connected. Everything she'[ll want to do, from texting and taking pictures, to emailing and browsing the Internet, is organized in a single list on one screen with large, legible letters. And with access to our exclusive health and safety apps like 5Star®, she can turn her Jitterbug into a personal safety device. With a variety of data plans starting as low as $2.49 per month, you’ll be able to choose the one that works best for Mom. Compared to other cell phone companies, that could save you over $300 per year, making the Jitterbug Smart phone plans the most affordable on the market.

Tablet Computer – If Mom likes to take her entertainment and productivity on the go she’s going to have a very happy Mother’s Day with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3. This premium Android tablet may well be the best-reviewed tablet Samsung’s created. For entertainment, it features a 9.7″ AMOLED display which can reproduce High Dynamic Range (HDR) video. It has four speakers tuned by AKG so she doesn’t sacrifice sound quality. For productivity, it comes with the Samsung S-Pen so she can easily move from typing to drawing or taking notes. And it has a detachable keyboard that connects on contact and never needs charging. It has a battery that will let Mom watch up to 12 hours of movies on a single charge. Price is just under $600, and we’ve generally only seen variations of a dollar or two on a number of websites.

One Cup Coffee Maker – If Mom likes to get her day started with a fresh cup of coffee, the Keurig K55 Coffee Maker is fast and easy. Besides coffee, she can make an assortment of other hot beverages with a universe of K-cup pod selections from which to choose. And if she likes her own particular blend she can get a My K-Cup Reusable Filter.  That’s good for the wallet and the environment. This Keurig Coffee Maker will have her cup ready to go in just under a minute. It will accommodate tall travel mugs and comes in two colors, black, and rhubarb. It’s selling right now for just about $80 on Keurig.com.

Knife Set – When was the last time Mom got a new set of knives? They make a huge difference in the kitchen. The right knife makes every culinary job easier. And sharp knives save time and effort. The Precision Chef Knife Series from Edge of Belgravia features futuristic design, advanced materials, and six knives that can handle almost every kitchen need. They are easy to sharpen. Best thing, the set is far more affordable than many we’ve seen, selling for $125.

Cordless Vacuum Cleaner – Okay, sexist or not, Moms are still getting stuck with the household chores more often than their husbands. So why not make things easier for her? If she’s tired of lugging around a big canister or upright machine, the Dyson V7 Absolute will get the job done with a lot more convenience and a lot less weight. This is the newest cordless from Dyson and weighs in at about 5 1/3 pounds. A single charge will give about thirty minutes of running time. It features legendary Dyson suction power along with the ability to do almost any vacuum job depending on which attachments she’ll use.  That could be the deep cleaning motorized rug head, or the handheld configuration, or one to reach high places. Price is about $550 from Dyson.

Blue Light Protective Computer Glasses – If, like many of us, Mom is spending too many hours in front of her computer screen, here’s a solution that can protect her from the headaches and blurred vision that often go along with too much screen time, Blueberry Glasses. They are available in a wide range of colors, sizes, and styles, most for $59.  If Mom needs reading glasses to work at the computer, there are Blueberry Readers in varying strengths for up to $65.  All of the glasses help block out both blue light and UV radiation.  They are lightweight and the lenses are scratch resistant.

Fitness Tracker – If Mom is interested in staying in shape and monitoring how she’s doing, the new Garmin Vivosmart 3 has a host of features packed into a stylish device with a screen that only pops on when you need it.  It features wrist mounted heart rate monitoring, including HRV (heart rate variability). The vívosmart 3 includes high-end fitness monitoring tools such as VO2 max and fitness age and wellness monitoring with all-day stress tracking. It automatically tracks activity including steps, floors climbed, calories burned, intensity minutes, sleep and more. It also features smart notifications to keep users connected while on the go. The vívosmart 3 boasts a battery life of up to five days and can be worn while swimming or showering. Price is just about $140 and it’s available from Amazon, REI, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and a variety of other outlets as well as directly from Garmin.

Tracking Device – If Mom has a tendency to misplace important things like her wallet or keys, the Pixie is a big step above most of the other trackers on the market. While other trackers just beep, the Pixie works with the camera on Mom’s iPhone (sorry not on Android yet) so she can actually see where her misplaced item is hiding. Certainly makes the seek part of hide and seek a lot easier. You plunk one Pixie into a case on your phone, while you attach another to the item you want to keep tabs on. Then if you misplace it, use the Pixie app to start looking for it. It will point you in the right direction and show you where it is. Pixie comes in a variety of colors and multiple unit packages starting at about $50. 

Desktop Charging Station – If Mom has a bunch of gadgets and needs to keep them organized and charged, we found a complete line of desktop organizers and chargers from MobileVision. One we like is the stylish bamboo organizing station with a four port USB strip. This will let her store and charge four gadgets simultaneously and has room for cords and other accessories. Price is $50.95 and it’s available on Amazon and direct from MobileVision.

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Gary is an award-winning journalist who has been covering technology since IBM introduced its first personal computer in 1981. Beginning at NBC News, then at ABC News, Ziff Davis, CNN, and Fox Business Network. Kaye has a history of “firsts”. He was the first to bring a network television crew to the Comdex Computer Show, the first technology producer on ABC’s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, the first to produce live coverage of the Solar Power International Conference, and the creator of the Fox Business Network signature series, “Three Days In The Valley”. Along the way he created the History Channel Multimedia Classroom. He has been a contributor to both AARP’s website and to AARP radio, as well as to a handful of other print and web-based publications where he specializes in issues involving boomers/seniors and technology. He has been a featured speaker and moderator at industry events such as the Silvers Summit and Lifelong Tech Conferences at CES, the M-Enabling Health Summit, and the What’s Next Baby Boomer Business Summit. His column, “Technology Through Our Eyes” appears in half a dozen newspapers and websites across the country.

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