Shopping for parents in a time when they are still technologically maturing is without a doubt a tricky situation, as everyone today is being impacted by technology, its growing culture and the skills which it requires. Whether your mother is just learning how to save images of the family to her desktop or your father just discovered the app store on his new iPhone 5, picking out the perfect tech gift for your ‘rents can oftentimes be much more awkward than it is easy.
For some, giving them a tablet is like throwing them into the wilderness unprepared, so here are a few gifts for parents who are at every stage of the game.
Gifts for the Hands-On Parents
Almost every dad loves doing stuff outdoors – primarily, gardening or working on the lawn. For the dad who loves landscaping but requires a beginner’s gadget, perhaps consider an electronic soil tester such as the Rapitest four-way analyzer, an environmentally friendly soil monitoring tool which helps track factors such as pH levels to support successful growth. Available from cleanairgardening.com for $37.99, this tech gift has been praised for its unparalleled versatility, accuracy and durability.
Splurge: What’s better than giving your hardworking dad the gift of relaxation? LawnBott, the number one selling robotic lawnmower in the world, does just that. LawnBott uses $11 of electricity per year and only requires a blade change once per year, costing a maximum of $65. Available at lawnbotts.com and starting at $1,199, your dad will be able to officially take care of the lawn in a “hands-off” way.
But what about mom? For the most important high-tech woman in your life, try buying her some cooking utensils or tools, and in the card, jot down the names of some awesome cooking apps. Try, for example, the Kitchen Aid Kit Pro iPad App, which has been called “the perfect iPad cooking app for the holiday season.” This app comes stocked to help mom improve or enhance her cooking skills for a one-stop-shop cooking experience. Including a virtual beaker to help match the real dimensions of her cooking utensils, an extensive list of measurements that can be adapted to both metric and U.S. systems and even a timer, the best thing is that this app is only $1.99 from the App Store.
Splurge: Has your mom made a New Year’s resolution to live a more health-conscious lifestyle? If so, help her get a head-start with the Digital Nutritional Kitchen Scale from Williams-Sonoma. Not only does this tech gift report key nutritional data about the foods or liquid you set on it, but it’s also USDA-approved. It is available for $99.95 at Williams-Sonoma.com.
BONUS: For mom or dad, also try the iGrill, described by the Huffington Post as “a great gift for the gadget-loving grillers who have an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad.” A wireless Bluetooth cooking thermometer allows you to sync your gadget to a free iPhone app to alert you when your meat is cooked – even from up to 200 feet away.
Gifts for the App-Loving Parents
It’s probably safe to say that every doting dad is equally as affectionate to his workshop. Between all of the tools and projects he has going on; it may help to simplify things by giving him a gift card to Home Depot or Lowes accompanied by a list of free, handy iPhone apps. Consider the iHandy Level, which will allow him to officially ditch his old, dreadfully long level while still perfectly adjusting that picture or shelf. All that’s needed is a few minutes to first calibrate your device to the app.
As the sports-fanatic dad counts down the days until baseball season starts up again, consider getting him some of his favorite team gear or apparel with a note to download At Bat 2010, a free iPhone app designed in newsreader format presenting all of the most up-to-date MLB news and season analysis. Dad can gear up for the upcoming season by ensuring he’ll have all of the real-time scores, speed and pitch data right in the palm of his hand.
For mom (especially if you have a rather large family) consider getting her a gift card to her favorite grocery store and then secretly buying her the Grocery Gadget App, a shopping list that lets her better manage her shopping lists via grocerygadgets.com. By naming your own categories, adding and removing items as you please and even being able to specify brand names and remember coupons, this app can be a true lifesaver that only costs $4.99.
For the working mom, spoil her with some new pumps or that work blouse she’s been eyeing and then slip in the Awesome Note app, which tracks daily schedule, to-do’s, checklists and travel itineraries while keeping all notes and folders together with unlimited volume. So if mom is in a last-minute meeting without a pen or paper, she can e-mail the meeting notes directly to the app and then even print them out. This app can be downloaded via the App Store for $3.99.
And if worse comes to worse, present mom or dad with a coupon redeemable for a free tech lesson from yours truly! Explain that you’ll sit them down and go over anything that they want – from the basics to the more complex processes. I can guarantee you they will really appreciate it in the long-run!
Edited by Jamie Epstein