Impossible-to-kill plant and other Mother's Day gifts

Mother's Day is nearing, but instead of scrambling for one of the typical, rehashed gifts, why not go high-tech? CNET's Sumi Das shares a roundup of clever ideas for mom.

Click & Grow
The trouble with holidays that fall on a different day every year is they sneak up on you. At least that's how I rationalize my lack of preparation. So consider yourself warned, fellow slackers. Mother's Day is May 12 this year, and on behalf of moms everywhere, I suggest you start planning.

First, let's get something straight. I appreciate the standard, go-to gifts as much as the next mom, but nothing screams "I bought this 5 minutes ago" than flowers or a box of chocolates. Don't phone it in, people! Mother's Day may be less than a week away, but the CNET crew has scoured the Web and tracked down five fun high-tech gifts that mom is sure to love, whether she's a gadget fiend or a complete luddite.

I know I just railed against buying boxed chocolates, but ordering chocolates that are personalized with carefully chosen photos of you and your mom? That's entirely different. Moms never tire of photos of their kids. So head over to the Cocoagraphs site and put those hundreds of Instagram photos to good use. You choose the type of chocolate and whether you'd like an additional ingredient, like dried raspberries or sea salt. Then upload your image, and a few days later, mom will receive the Polaroid-size chocolate bar in the mail. Each one costs about $20, but Cocoagraphs also sells smaller chocolate squares in three-packs for $18. I can personally vouch for the organic milk chocolate with coffee bean crumble. And admittedly, I'm a bit of a chocolate snob.

There's also the Click & Grow Starter Kit. If you're dead set on giving mom flowers, this is the way to do it. The Click & Grow is an electronic smart planter that runs $79. You install batteries and add water to a small compartment in the all-white, ultra-modern planter, and that's it. Sensors, a pump, and some software help take care of the rest. No green thumb required -- which is good for someone like me. I manage to kill succulents, which are virtually indestructible and even store water. A light on the front of the mini-garden lets you know when you need to add more water to the reservoir (about once a month) or when you need to replace the batteries (about once a year). The only drawback is there are only a few flower varieties to choose from. But, on the other hand, there are several herb plants offered as well as a tomato and chili pepper option. Perfect for my mom who makes the world's best lamb curry.

And if you want to go all out this year -- take a look at the 2014 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite . It's a minivan, but don't let that dissuade you. Among it's amenities: an ultrawide screen in the back, an integrated vacuum, and a lane departure warning feature. As I breathlessly stated when CNET's Brian Cooley described this car to me, "You had me at integrated vacuum." Look for this tricked-out mama-mobile at dealerships later this year. Give mom an IOU until then.

These are just some of the gift ideas. Watch the video above to learn more about all five high-tech Mother's Day options.

So there you have it. No excuses for dull gifts this Mother's Day. Get mom something awesome. She deserves it.

About the author

    Sumi Das has been covering technology since the original dot-com boom. She was hired by cable network TechTV in 1998 to produce and host a half-hour program devoted to new and future technologies. Prior to CNET, Sumi served as a Washington DC-based correspondent, covering breaking news for CNN. She reported live from New Orleans and contributed to CNN's coverage of Hurricane Katrina, which earned the network a Peabody Award. She also files in-depth tech stories for BBC News which are seen by a primarily international audience.

     

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