Omnipan lifesyle photo

High-Tech Gift Ideas For Mother’s Day

It’s the 21st Century, and moms don’t just want flowers, candy, and jewelry as gifts. Moms are fiercely strong and independent women whose interests range from fitness to gaming, cooking to riding motorcycles, and more.

These days, most people don’t just get Mother’s Day gifts for or give well wishes to their own moms. It’s a good idea to show your appreciation for every important mom in your life, from a wife or partner to a sister, grandmother to a close friend.

This year, the shopping situation is a bit different. You’ll have to order online or arrange for curbside pickup if you’re in a province like Ontario, which is under lockdown through to at least the beginning of May. With Mother’s Day taking place on Sunday, May 9 and no guarantee that stores will re-open by then, this is the year to get ahead of the game. That’s especially so if you want to support a local independent retailer and make arrangements for pick-up or delivery.

So, what to get? We’ve compiled a list of some great high-tech options, and a few low-tech ones, that at least one mom on your list will love.

Omnipan Silicone Pans

Omnipan Mega Set

If mom is into cooking, consider grabbing her one of these FDA-approved, food-grade, chemical-free silicone pans that make it easy for her to prep, cook, eat, store, and reheat meals, all in the same container. The pans are oven (up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit), microwave, and dishwasher-safe, as well as modular and compact so they can fit in any sized kitchen. They are also designed to be stackable, one inside the other, which will result in any mother’s dream: conserved storage space!

Onipan with cinnamon rolls

Made of silicone, they are sturdy and lightweight as well as non-stick and provide uniform heat circulation and retention. Each pan comes with a transparent lid so you can watch the cook or see the leftovers in the refrigerator. Dual steam vents allow you to steam food in them, too. Each Omnipan comes with a 176-page hardcover cookbook with recipes that are specifically designed to be made in the cookware. There’s one catch: like many innovative gadgets these days, the Omnipan is currently running a Kickstarter campaign that ends on May 6. That means mom won’t receive hers until after Mother’s Day. But if it lives up the hype, it will be worth the wait. The campaign is already fully funded, and the single pan starter set that includes one large, medium, and small pan with lids, is still available for US$59, US$40 off the regular price. The estimated delivery date is October 2021.

iRobot Braava jet m6 Robotic Mop

iRobot Braava Jet m6 robot mop

I’m a long-time fan of iRobot Roomba robot vacuums, and if any mom on your list doesn’t yet have one, it’s worthwhile to grab her one, stat. Whether she lives in a condo or apartment or a large multi-level home, it’s worth it. If she has pets? For sure, though expect to receive a few cat-on-the-robot-vacuum videos. The Roomba i7+ ($999) is a solid choice with the latest high-tech features, including voice control and the ability to map the floors in your home and schedule cleans using the very intuitive iRobot Home app. But if mom already has a robot vacuum, consider getting a little friend to keep it company: the Braava jet m6 mop. It’s a perfect device for effortless mopping of floors, whether she just wants to have it do a pass of the kitchen floors every few weeks or give all her hardwood flooring a shimmer and shine. It can do both wet mopping and dry sweeping, with specialty fitted reusable or disposable pads for both and a special cleaner for wet mopping. It, too, can map the area and even communicate with the i7+ so you can set it to mop as soon as vacuuming is done. $599

Spintray by Top Form Design Add-on for Peloton

Spintray for Peloton bike

Did mom recently get a Peloton? If so, a cool add-on for the stationary bike might be the perfect gift. The Spintray fits onto the bike’s handlebars to hold a laptop, phone, tablet, book, or other device so she can multitask while getting exercise. Sure, she might already be viewing a scenic backdrop on the Peloton’s screen while she goes for a virtual ride, but maybe she still needs to keep in touch with the office or the live feed of the baby’s nursery while she does it. Order one for US$54. Note that it does not fit the Peloton Bike+ model.

Pixel Eyewear Blue Light Glasses

Pixel eyewear blue light blocking glasses

If mom has been looking for something to help ease the strain on her eyes from working all day at the computer and engaging in one too many Zoom meetings, check out these blue light blocking glasses. The company says they filter 50% of blue light and up to 95% at the strongest wavelengths, without the yellow tint. The lenses contain nanotechnology that reduces smudges and repels water and dust. Each also has an anti-reflective coating to help eliminate computer glare and reduce eye stress. $75.  

The Original Flippy Tablet Pillow

Flippy tablet pillow

If mom loves to unwind by relaxing on the couch while crushing some candy on her phone or binging the latest episode of The Crown on her tablet, this tablet pillow would be a thoughtful gift. It serves as comfortable and soft pillow for her to rest for mobile device on her lap her hands are free to sip tea or multitask. Use it to prop the device up on the bed while lying back to watch TV or on your lap while relaxing on the lounge chair outside on the back deck. It has three sides so you can adjust the angle to your liking. Some models come with a storage pocket in the base where mom can keep her reading glasses (never misplace them again!), smartphone, stylus, portable power bank, charging cable, or other useful accessories. There are both full and mini sizes in a number of colour and fun patterned designs. Mom will also appreciate that they are made by a certified women-owned business (Happy Products, Inc.) and proceeds from every sale go towards the literacy non-profit They’re about $40.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 40 Instant Camera

Fujifilm Instax Mini 40 instant camera

Moms will have tons of fun with this modern interpretation of the instant camera, which combines the ability to get instant photos with customizable photo features. The Automatic Exposure function automatically senses the level of ambient light when the shutter button is pressed and optimizes the shutter speed and flash output according to the scene. It allows even novice Instax instant camera users to take photos that are automatically properly exposed regardless of interior or exterior conditions, producing high-quality photo prints on-the-spot. It’s easy to take selfies or close-up photos using the Selfie Mode by pulling out the front-end edge of the lens after powering the camera on.

Fujifilm Instax Contact Sheets

It comes in a bundle with the new Instax Mini Contact Sheet instant film, an homage to classic film photography, for $140 and will be available by the end of April, just in time for Mother’s Day. It’s not a bad idea to grab her an extra set of Contacts Sheets for $14 per pack as well.

Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT-USB Fully Automatic Belt-Drive Turntable

Audio Technica AT-LP60XBT-USB turntable

If mom is just starting to get into vinyl, consider getting her an entry-level turntable like this one that will serve as a nice starting point for her. With Bluetooth, USB, and analog connectivity, it has everything mom would need play 33.3 and 45 pm records, including a pre-installed Audio-Technica phono cartridge and a built-in phono preamplifier, plus audio and USB cables, a 45 RPM adapter, and a removable dustcover. Its wireless connectivity enables the turntable to be paired with compatible Bluetooth headphones, wireless speakers, or other devices. If desired, it can also be used as a standard wired turntable, so mom has plenty of options, no matter how she wants to listen. It comes with a Dual Magnet phono cartridge that is integrated into the tonearm, with no setup or adjustment required. The stylus is easily user-replaceable (model ATN3600L). The switchable phono preamp enables it to be used with audio systems and powered speakers that do not have a dedicated phono input. Its USB output allows the turntable to be connected to a computer to convert records to digital audio files, using recording software of the user’s choice. The die cast, anti-resonance aluminum platter with felt mat and an external AC power adapter reduces noise by keeping the power supply outside of the turntable. MSRP US$179

Dyson Hot+Cool Formaldehyde Air Purifier

Dyson Hot+Cool air purifier formaldehyde

Air purifiers are not nowadays, not surprisingly as people look for any way to keep the air around them clean. And Dyson’s latest one adds a new feature that moms will love: formaldehyde sensing technology, designed to capture ultrafine dust and allergens and destroy formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a colourless gas pollutant that can enter indoor air though off-gassing or combustion. The Canadian government notes that potential sources of formaldehyde from off-gassing can include particleboard, fibreboard, hardwood plywood paneling, wallpaper, carboard, paper products, permanent press fabrics like drapery, glues, paints, varnishes and floor finishes. Off-gassing, the process by which products release formaldehyde, can take weeks – potentially even months or years – to disappear completely. Burning materials such as tobacco smoke, improperly vented gas, or oil burning appliances and smoke from fireplaces or wood-burning stoves can also be a source of formaldehyde. Health effects can vary from high exposures resulting in burning sensations in the eyes, nose and throat, to long-term, moderate exposure having the potential to worsen asthma symptoms, according to the Canadian Government. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) also classifies formaldehyde as “carcinogenic to humans.” In addition to the existing particle, NO2, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), temperature and humidity sensors, the new air purifier features the intelligent formaldehyde sensor that ensures precise sensing of the pollutant for the lifetime of the machine.Auto mode enables the machine to maintain a preferred room temperature and air quality level. Control and monitor air quality from anywhere using the Dyson Link app. Control it hands-free in with Google Home (English only), Alexa and Siri.

LG WashTower Side-by-Side Smart Washer and Dryer Laundry Pair

LG WashTower

If you have been in need of a new washer and dryer, surprise mom with this laundry pair that she’ll love not only for the convenient design but also for the sleek look. The WashTower offers the capacity of full-sized machines while being able to fit in half the space of a standard full-sized washer and dryer. Everything is controlled via the Centre Control panel that sits in the middle of the washer and dryer. In traditional stacked pairs, the controls are at the top of each machine, which can make it difficult to see or reach the dryer buttons, says LG. Because of the shared centrally placed control panel, LG says the WashTower is about 3.4-inches shorter than its previous generation stacked units. Finished in black steel with a chrome rim and control knob accents, they feature scratch-resistant tempered glass doors. The washer has Artificial Intelligence Direct Drive (AIDD) technology that uses sensors to detect fabric softness and load size, and automatically select the right wash motions and cycle time for precise fabric care.   

It will learn mom’s preferred settings. Activate Smart Learner in the LG ThinQ app and it will remember the selected wash temperature, spin speed, or dry level. With Smart Pairing, the washer can also tell the dryer the right compatible drying cycle based on what load you just washed. LG TurboWash 360° powers through larger laundry loads in less time, thanks to five jets with variable sprays that deliver a complete clean in under 30 minutes. With 4.5 cubic feet in the washer and 7.4 cubic feet in the dryer, it fits big loads of towels, jeans, or a king-size comforter. The LG WashTower is certified as asthma and allergy friendly by Asthma Canada. The machine’s Allergiene wash cycle uses steam to remove common household allergens in fabrics by more than 95 per cent. LG TurboSteam technology in the dryer, meanwhile, helps sanitize and refresh clothes in between washes as well as children’s toys, decorative pillows, and more.  Environmentally conscious moms will appreciate that it’s Energy Star-certified from Energy Star Canada, using 25 per cent less energy and 33 per cent less water than traditional models. Grab the pair for $3,199.

DALI IO-4 and IO-6 Headphones

DALI Headphones new colours

Get her a nice pair of headphones like these ones, which now come in two new finish options: army green or chalk white, joining the iron black and caramel white colours. Each has the signature DALI red on the inside of the ear pad and visible wiring. Both over-ear, closed-back headphones are wireless, battery rechargeable, and incorporate DALI’s custom-made 50mm drivers with an optimized neodymium magnet system to achieve low distortion, minimal colouration, and accurate dynamics, connectivity via Bluetooth 4.0 AAC and aptX HD, Clear Voice Communication (CMC) for calls, and an intuitive user-interface. They come with memory foam ear pads for a comfortable and acoustically superior seal over the ear. The soft synthetic leather finish adds durability. The IO-6 differs from the IO-4 by incorporating active noise cancellation (ANC), to cut out sound disturbances from the outside world and provide a separate, more powerful, amplification section. However, by foregoing ANC, the IO-4 doubles its battery life to 60 hours per charge.

Google Hub Smart Display

Nest Hub second gen in bedroom

Get mom one of these second-generation smart displays to place on her bedside table and use for Sleep Sensing, which uses Motion Sense, powered by Soli low-energy radar technology, to analyze how she is sleeping based on their movement and breathing. The opt-in feature can also detect sleep disturbances, like coughing or snoring, as well as light and temperature changes in the room using the built-in microphones, ambient light and temperature sensors. Each morning, a personalized sleep summary will appear on the display, or simply say “Hey Google, how did I sleep?” to get the details. Sleeping Sensing can also be connected to the Google Fit app on Android or iOS devices, allowing mom to view your sleep summary from her phone, along with all of the other captured health and wellness information. She can also get tailored bedtime schedules and personalized suggestions on how to improve, which are compiled after several nights of analysis. If she doesn’t want to use Sleep Sensing, she can turn it off and use the device like any other smart display, enjoying the 50% louder bass and other enhanced features. It comes in chalk, charcoal, sand, and a new mist finish with an easy-to-clean edgeless glass display that makes it attractive as a photo frame when not in use. $130

Sonos Roam Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Sonos Roam

Great for mom to take with her to the backyard, beach, local park, campsite, or on the porch while she does her gardening, this is Sonos’ first truly portable Bluetooth speaker. Designed for use outdoors with a dust and waterproof housing and up to 10-hour battery life, it works equally well inside the home, seamlessly switching over to Wi-Fi from Bluetooth and connecting as another device within a Sonos ecosystem. It’s the perfect device to expand a Sonos system, or even get one started in the home. When mom arrives home or comes back inside, she can simply press the play/pause button to switch the music to play on the closest system speaker. It sits both horizontally or vertically and comes in either shawdow black or lunar white. US$169.

Amazon Echo Show 10 Smart Display

Amazon Echo Show 10

Perfect for multitasking moms, especially those who spend a lot of time experimenting in the kitchen, this smart display does everything you’d expect from a smart display, from showing photos and videos to weather reports, playing music, television shows, and answering queries, all prompted by the Alexa voice assistant. But what really sets it apart is the screen that moves side to side to follow you around the room so you are always in frame. Whether it’s during a video call for a virtual birthday party or following a video recipe on SideChef while making a new dish in the kitchen, you can always keep an eye on the screen and others on a call can always see you. The screen doesn’t just move to keep you in frame at all times, but it also zooms and auto-frames so that you’re always in focus. $330, it comes in charcoal or glacier white.

Roku Express 4K Media Streaming Device

Roku Express 4K

Help mom get access to her favourite series and movies from virtually anywhere with this handy new device that can plug into the HDMI port of any compatible display and showcase content in all its glory, including HD, 4K, HDR, HDR10, and HDR10+ quality streaming. Available with the new Roku OS 10, it works with both dual-band Wi-Fi and microUSB Ethernet and comes with a high-speed HDMI cable. It works with Alexa and Google Assistant for voice control as well as Apple AirPlay 2 and Apple HomeKit. New features include automatic network detection to give mom the best wireless connection possible by finding the right network and automatic game console configuration that will recognize when its connected to a game console and automatically enable Game Mode. It’s scheduled to be available staring in May for $50, hopefully in time for Mother’s Day.

Looking for more gift ideas? Check out Steve Makris’ gift guide with great last-minute gift suggestions for mom.