WHATCHA getting Mom for her special day? Gizmo Guy has some last-minute suggestions with a techy twist.
Bring home the bacon: If Mom's into collecting piggy miniatures or coin banks (and change), she'll get a tickle from Porkfolio. Invented by James Hunter of Lansdale and marketed by Quirky, it's the first piggy bank that smartly tracks your savings. Porkfolio's nose lights up when a U.S. coin is inserted. And the updated balance in its' belly then shows up on your smartphone or tablet, via a special app (iOS and Android, Wi-Fi home network required.) A built-in accelerometer warns if Porkfolio has been moved. This little piggy's available in pink for $49.99 at homedepot.com or for $69.99 in black (with one day in-store delivery) from bestbuy.com.
Light me up: For some people, just having a light on when you arrive home can add a sense of comfort and security. Belkin guarantees a friendly glow for Mom with the Wi-Fi enabled WeMo Power Switch, remotely triggered by an iPhone (3GS or later), iPad or iPod Touch to "turn on your love light." $50 at Home Depot.
Then add sound: Kind of large but suitable for screwing into the socket of a recessed ("high hat") ceiling light fixture or large shaded floor lamp, the AwoX StriimLight combines a couple hot trends - LED lighting and a Bluetooth wireless speaker. Glows as bright as a 40-watt bulb, plays as loud/clear as your average table radio. And it's virtually invisible when installed, thus pleasing to the decor-minded lady in your life. Comes with its' own wireless remote. Doesn't work with light dimmers. $99 at World Wide Stereo in Ardmore, Hatfield and Montgomeryville.
Health and welfare: Rarely do we find a product equally suited to a vigorous health fanatic and a shaky elder. But both "types" would welcome the gift of an Endevr MyID - the Emergency ID Bracelet. Available in a variety of fun colors, this rubbery bracelet can pull the wearer out of a jam when she's forgotten to take meds, suffers a severe allergic reaction, or has fallen and can't get up. The secret is the custom Quick Response (QR) code and dial-in number imprinted on the bracelet, associated with the wearer's personal profile stored on the Endevr website. First Responders are also alerted by the "Star of Life" symbol. $20 (for the slimmest/prettiest MyID Sport) with one year of included premium 24/7 live online support, which thereafter costs $10 a year. At Target and Walgreens, or online with a 25 percent Mother's Day discount at myidband.com.
Decorative tech: Worn on a wrist band, clipped-on or dangling as a necklace, the "Shine" from Misfit Wearables is the most elegant of personal activity monitors. This round, sleek, aluminum pendant tracks running, cycling, swimming and sleeping data that pops up on a Bluetooth-connected smartphone. Double tap Shine and a halo of lights indicates how close you've come to achieving daily goals. A user replaceable cell battery runs the show for six months. $119.95 in four color choices at Best Buy and Apple stores.
Peace of mind: A new mom's best friend, the high definition D-Link Wi-Fi Baby Camera (DCS-825L) turns your smartphone or tablet into a baby monitor, for use at home or on the go. Wall mountable, the cam operates well under low light and up to 16 feet from a crib with remote controllable 4X zoom feature. Images (still and video) can be grabbed and stored on your phone or a MicroSD card. Has sound/motion detection and "push" signaling, two-way "hear and speak" communication. Also alerts to a room temperature change and plays lullabies (remotely controllable.) A 2014 Electronic House "Product of the Year." $179.99 at Wal-Mart, Target and Best Buy.