13 techie gifts for moms (as picked by moms)

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13 techie gifts for moms (as picked by moms)

Welcome to the 2016 TechCrunch Holiday Gift Guide! We’ll be rolling out a bunch of guides leading up to Christmas, hopefully making your holiday shopping a little easier. Looking for gifts for others on your list? Check out our full 2016 Gift Guide Hub.

Moms are some of the greatest, smartest and kindest people in the world. (Trust me: I’m a mom. 😇) And if you are thinking of showing your appreciation for the moms in your life this holiday season with a gift, have we got the gift guide for you, mother lovers!

Sure, moms may — or may not — be the first person in your life that you think of when you think “gadgets” or “techie presents.” We’ve written this guide with that in mind. These gifts are definitely drawing from the world of tech, but we think they can and would be appreciated by moms on all ends of the tech-loving spectrum.

So as we put this together, we spoke to moms. Our own moms. The moms on staff. Moms! Happy holidays!


Kate Spade's connected handbags

Kate Spade is one of the most popular accessory designers in the world, loved for her clean lines that are a hat tip to mid-20th-century modernism. These bags and pouches literally supercharge that aesthetic: teaming up with Everpurse, they incorporate iPhone (but not Android!) chargers and, in the handbag, a wireless charging matt to charge the bag itself. Perfect for busy women who also sometimes like a little fashion with their practicality.

Price: between $328 and $489 for the bags; $198 for the wristlets


Tile item trackers

Yes, we have suggested the Tile before. Yes, we’re taking a mom point here and suggesting it again. If your mom uses a smartphone or tablet, this is a no-brainer present.

You simply slip the little tile onto whatever you want to make sure she can find whenever she needs it, and she can track it down with your screen of choice later. Perfect in households where chaos and/or mess may descend with no advance warning, just before you realize you’re nearly late for a date.

Price: Tile Mate 4-pack is $70, singles are $25 each


Philips' Wake-Up light

I have to admit, during these dark winter days (I live in London so they are expecially dark, and not JUST because of Brexit), this is at the top of my own gift wish list. Help wake up in the AM with the simulation of natural sunlight, and wind down with gently dimming evening light, along with optional soothing sounds for both. Plus alarm and radio. It may just be the update to the bedside alarm clock you mom wants and needs.


Price: $170, often to be found for less


Alexa, this is mom. Mom, meet the Echo.

The small but mighty Echo home hub and speaker has been a surprise hit for Amazon, and if your mom doesn’t already have one, it’s worth getting her an Echo now. You can install it anywhere in the house; it integrates with music services like Spotify, Pandora and (of course) Amazon Music; and you can activate a million skills to turn on all kinds of other voice-activated functionality, from using it to buy things, to reading out news headlines, recipe information and weather information, and setting timers. You can even meow at the Echo and it will meow back, just what a mom needs at the end of a frazzled day.


Price: $179.99


Portable device charger

If you’re not keen to fork out the big bucks for a connected handbag, or think mom is more Gucci than Kate Spade, but she still has a charging need, you might consider a standalone charger as a present, too. This small and sleek model from Jackery is a winner: it can charge up to three items simultaneously (unfortunately not a laptop, though); it packs enough juice at full-charge to refill the battery on an iPhone 6 three times; and it doubles as a flashlight. It also looks a little like a happy little robot in this picture. Hi there, little robot.


Price: $70 but often retails for less


Wireless headphones

Okay, I’m going to take a mom point and admit right here and how that I’m in the camp of people who worries about how headphones might damage your hearing. But I’ve been told that this style is better at safeguarding against that, and these UrbanEars headphones can definitely up your cred as a cool mom. Great for mother music buffs or those who want to escape their daily commute by re-listening to their kid’s last piano recital.


Price: $99 for this natty indigo pair


Smartphone-controlled garden lights

Suggested by a mom with greener thumbs than I have, it turns out that even the humble garden decoration is getting disrupted by the IoT revolution. Gnomes, beware! There are literally dozens of different versions of outdoor lights that you can control with your phone. This version from Airgoo is, in honor of the holiday season, a little on the flashy side, easy for anyone to install, and relatively affordable.


Price: $42


iPad (or another tablet)

In case your mom doesn’t have one of these, it’s worth the splurge if you have the funds.


Price: $269 for the least expensive model, the iPad mini 2, going up to $799 for the larger iPad Pro



For moms who love coffee. I have found this to be the best lo-tech coffee maker of them all. Designed by the same Stanford engineering instructor who conceived of the Aerobie frisbee, it uses the force of your own arms to essentially create espresso-like pressure for a shot (or four) of coffee. I find the swoosh sound that it makes especially comforting in a kind of Pavlovian way. Pair it with some great coffee from a roaster local to you.


Price: around $30 from a variety of outlets


Gift-card for Amazon Kindle, Kindle

I tried to find a good tech-themed novel that was published this year, but alas there appears to be a gap in the market! In the meantime, if you have a mom who loves to read, or who would love to read more, this could give her the nudge she needs. If she doesn’t have a Kindle, she can read on a tablet, or a phone, too. Or use the card for other things.


Price for Gift Card: $10 and up


Price for basic Kindle: $50


3D printed jewelry

3D printing has transformed a lot of industries, and one that I think has been one of the more interesting is the area of fashion, and in particular jewellery, which is seeing a veritable explosion of design and designers unleashed through this technology, tapping new materials and concepts in the process.

Price: $34.39 for this lovely brass leaf pendant from Shapeways


Bespoke shoes

This is one of those gifts that will be fun for someone to make, as well as have in the end: Feetz lets you basically craft your own shoes, specific to your own size and tastes, using a smartphone and Feetz’s intelligence algorithms. When you see something like this, you have to wonder if you are getting a glimpse at the long-term future of all clothing and fashion design.

Price: $199


Beauty gift subscription

Another fun tech gift that keeps giving (or at least until your supplies run out). Birchbox has built a reputation for its innovative approach to sending out sample and smaller bottles of cosmetics in boxes by subscriptions, tapping into double sentiments of variety being the spice of life but that we, are at the end, creatures of habit.

Price: 3-month gift subscriptions start at $30