5 great gadgets for Mother’s Day 2014


This Sunday it’s Mother’s Day, so we thought we would recommend a selection of some interesting gadgets that you could give your mum to make her feel special!

Headonizm Head Massager

Perfect for: Stressed out mums

It’s stressful being a mum, so if you can’t promise to stop being the main cause of this stress you can at least provide her with something to ease the pain. The Headonizm Head Massager is designed to massage your scalp, sending “a sensual feeling across your head, down your spine and through your body”. It helps to release feel good endorphins and create a sense of calm that can’t be achieved purely by a bubble-bath and some scented candles, though it might not hurt to double-up with these as well, just to be on the safe side.

Available for £6.49 from IWOOT

Luminara Flickering Flame Candles

Perfect for: Mums who love a bit of ambience

Artificial candles are all the rage, and modern designs do an excellent job of recreating the real thing without the fuss of cleaning up after. Red5 claims that these are “the most realistic we have ever seen”, being coated with real wax and shaped to mimic a partially burnt candle for added authenticity. You will have to replace the batteries every now and then, but that’s a small price to pay for a gadget that your mum might actually use.

Available at varying prices from Red5

Baseball bat rolling pin

Perfect for: Mums who like sports (and baking)

If you’re lucky enough to have a mum that loves sports and cooking, you can marry the two together quite nicely with the novelty Baseball Bat Rolling Pin. Perhaps not the most thoughtful of gifts (with a clear implication of “bake me some cookies”), it should at least raise a smile, if for no other reason than providing good old mum with another object to threaten a misbehaving child with.

Available for £12.95 from Genie Gadgets

Koubachi Wi-Fi Plant Sensor

Perfect for: Connected mums

For mums with green fingers who have also mastered the Smartphone we give you the Koubachi Wi-Fi Plant Sensor, a device designed to allow up to 27 house plants (there is an outdoor version available as well) to communicate via an app that summarises exactly what they need in terms of plant care. With regular reports on light intensity, temperature and moisture, wilting leaves and dead branches will become a thing of the past, though she may not appreciate having even more opportunities to be nagged for attention.

Available from £79.99 from Amazon

Glo to Sleep – Sleep Therapy Mask

For: Worried mums

Mum may never have truly recovered from those sleepless nights that were a by product of raising a child to an age where it’s reasonable to kick them out of the house. For those with a penchant for burning the midnight oil, the Sleep Therapy Mask aims to slow down brain activity to the “alpha wave state”, where mind and body are relaxed, eliminating those worrying thoughts that can keep poor old mum awake long into the night, or raise her from a slumber at the crack of dawn.

Available for £29 from WeLoveSleep


Image courtesy of Shardayyy / Flickr

Sofant Technologies: A small antenna that gives your phone a big boost

There’s nothing more annoying than being in the middle of an important phone call, only to get cut off because of a weak signal. And that’s if you manage to even get through in the first place. Frustrating? Yes, we feel your pain.


With the new 4G network on our doorsteps, the need for a stronger signal and more bandwidth has never been more apparent. Help is at hand (or rather it will be) in the form of Sofant Technologies new miniature antenna, an antenna that has been especially designed to give smart-phones and tablets a much needed boost when it comes to finding a strong signal.

The Edinburgh-based company is an aerial specialist, manufacturing RF micro-electrical systems that are used in many of the leading smart-phones. The new technology has been designed to cope with the demands of the new 4G network, and demand is sure to be high with manufacturers eager to incorporate the antenna in their new products.

The CEO of Sofant explains just what a difference the new micro antenna could make… “Antenna design has not kept pace with the rapid evolution of smart phone technology. Smart phone and tablet users expect to be able to make and take phone calls while browsing the web, send texts while downloading emails and stream data while uploading videos to YouTube. The reality is that, until now, the antenna has acted as a bottleneck to performance in mobile devices. Every new generation of smart phone performs less well than its predecessor, resulting in dropped calls, lost signals, weak connections, slow internet and battery drain. Sofant’s high performance miniaturised antenna will change the performance of smart phones forever”

Amen to that. It looks like the days of frantically waving your phone around in the air, desperately searching for a signal could be coming to an end. For more information on the Sofant antenna, visit www.sofant.com.

Makers: A revolution in the world of things

Bit tired of hearing about the internet revolution? You’re not alone. As marvellous and transformative as the power of interconnected living is, it still has its limits. The internet changed the way we deal with information forever. But what about the way we deal with things?

Chris Anderson, Editor-in-Chief of Wired magazine and author of the oft-quoted *The Long Tail* is fascinated with how the democratisation of the internet (a democratisation that means you can read the words I am writing to you right now), has lead to a quiet revolution in the world of manufacturing.


Anderson’s enthusiasm for his subject matter really shines through and the book kicks off with a very personal anecdote about this grandfather, who manufactured an innovative timed sprinkler. Anderson himself peppers the book with various anecdotes about the high level tinkering has been involved with and the various communities and companies that have sprung up around them. This isn’t a journalist taking a casual interest in a passing fad. This is someone who has a pretty serious grip on what he’s talking about.

There are lots of interesting jumps into burgeoning subcultures that are developing around various new technologies. It’s pretty hard to put the book down and not run out and buy a MakerBot or start a small business selling customised knick-knacks.

If you are looking to get into the business of making things, especially for a niche market, then Makers functions almost as a “how to” manual from someone who has tried and succeeded multiple times. Every other sentence seems to start with “of course if I wanted to make that now I would …” with helpful hints and tips casually strewn

However Makers is also fascinating from a historical perspective. Anderson is careful to place modern innovation in an historical context and why the future makes sense in a past filled with spinning jennies and dark satanic mills.

Makers is out now in hardback (how old-fashioned) for £20 from Random House Business Books.