« Oops - iPhone glitch sets alarms off at the wrong time | Main | When you gotta go...there’s an app to tell you where to go »

11/02/2010

Want to use smartphones outside this winter? You might need these...

Gloves The leaves have fallen to the ground. Canadian Tire is promoting winter tires. Christmas lights are going up. The temperature is dipping below zero.

Yes, winter is right around the corner, but for smartphone users, the colder temperatures may make you a little less addicted to your handheld devices as gloves and mitts make answering calls and sending messages a pain.

The cold winter weather we can expect to have as Canadians will make touchscreens as useful as an ice scraper in the thick of summer. You could take off your gloves every time you want to access your phone or MP3 player, but after a while your fingers might be precariously close to frostbite – which could seriously slow your texting skills.

But fear not – there are gloves designed to keep your hands warm and still let you use your favourite touchscreen devices.

 

First, the problem: The average mobile phone touchscreen is capacitive - it works based on the small amount of electricity that flows from your fingers to the screen. Conventional gloves keep your hands warm but your energy is insulated from the screen.

The good news is, however, there are some options out there that let you get the best of both worlds.

The North Face has the Etip Glove. At $40, it’s on the pricey side. The tips of the thumbs and index fingers are made of a special `X-Static` material which use natural pure silver bonded to the fibres. The palms are coated with lines of anti-slip silicone so you want accidentally lose grip of that iPhone on the chairlift.

A pair from Aglove is more affordable with a price tag of about $18. The gloves are made of silver-coated nylon fibres and are designed to make every finger conductive – ideal if you want to use them on a tablet computer.

Dots Gloves are the most inexpensive I`ve come across with pairs costing as little as $15.50. Made of Merino lambswool, all five fingers on each Dots glove are touchscreen-ready.

As a last note - most BlackBerry phones don`t have touchscreens but thick gloves can get in the way of the buttons. For those users, Etre has gloves with the tips of the thumbs and index fingers cut off with prices starting at about $32. Not exactly as warm as the other options, but they have a variety of styles.

Will you be getting specialty gloves to use your touchscreen devices when it gets cold out?

*Thanks to @wallabina and @davefleet for the tips (no pun intended)

- Maurice Cacho, MSN Tech & Gadgets

TrackBack

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

The comments to this entry are closed.

advertisement

Danny BradburyDanny Bradbury

Danny Bradbury is a technology journalist with 20 years' experience. He writes regularly for publications including the Guardian, the Financial Times, the Financial Post, and Backbone magazine. Danny also writes and directs documentaries.

Maurice CachoMaurice Cacho

Maurice Cacho is a Toronto-based journalist mixing his love for tech with a passion for news. He's also CP24's Web Journalist and appears daily on CP24 Breakfast and weekly on the channel's tech show, Webnation, discussing tech news and trends.

FACEBOOK
HP on FACEBOOK