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Agloves Allow For Touchscreen Use On Cold Days 140

Posted by samzenpus
from the touch-the-screen dept.
Zothecula writes "With capacitive the technology of choice on the majority of touchscreen devices hitting the market, people have been coming up with all kinds of interesting ways to interact with their devices when the winter chill sets in and gloves become a necessity. Many South Koreans apparently turned to using sausages as a stylus but if you'd prefer not to be hassled by dogs as you type a text there are less meat product-based solutions, such as the North Face Etip gloves. Now there's another glove-based solution in the form of Agloves, which provide even greater touchscreen friendly surface area for your hands."
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Agloves Allow For Touchscreen Use On Cold Days

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  • Make your own (Score:5, Informative)

    by slifox (605302) * on Wednesday November 03, 2010 @04:00PM (#34116948)
    Or you can convert an existing pair of gloves into touchscreen-capable gloves by using a needle a little bit of conductive thread:

    http://www.instructables.com/id/Making-A-Glove-Work-With-A-Touch-Screen/ [instructables.com]
    • But these have silver! Think of your immune system. Oh, those happy, healthy fingers.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by treeves (963993)

      I wonder if metallic threads in the gloves will eventually scratch the screens. Would you use steel wool on your touchscreen?

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Would you use steel wool on your touchscreen?

        If the screen is glass then sure. Mohs scale of hardness [wikipedia.org]

        Glass harder than steel and much harder than silver.

        • by treeves (963993)

          I'm thinking that since those transparent plastic sheets for screen protectors are sold (I have one on my phone) that it is possible to scratch the screen, and since people are not using diamond or carbide styli on them, either the surface of the screen is not really glass or something else is going on. I also understand that anti-reflective and anti-smudge (polymer) coatings are used, and that these are probably softer than glass.

          • If you're using a stylus you don't have a capacitative screen, this article is not for you, you don't have to worry about cold fingers.

            I lurve my N900 even more on cold days.

    • by sznupi (719324) on Wednesday November 03, 2010 @05:11PM (#34117698) Homepage

      ( http://thedailywtf.com/Articles/The_Complicator_0x27_s_Gloves.aspx [thedailywtf.com] )

      Yes, gloves. Many types of them - also fingerless gloves. Easy to make from cheap wool ones - and in this case cutting just the tips of two fingers will be usually enough, making them only slightly less warm.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Yvan256 (722131)

        Just in case someone from Digg is reading this... he meant cutting the tips of the glove fingers, not your own human fingers.

  • Sigh (Score:3, Informative)

    by sexconker (1179573) on Wednesday November 03, 2010 @04:04PM (#34116984)

    Not all touch screens are capacitive.
    We also have good touch screens, which respond to actual touch, by any object.

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      With the added bonus that you get to look at everything through a screen door!

      Fix that and I might consider a resistive screen.

      • I have a phone with a resistive screen (Samsung Solstice) and there is no screen door effect (aside from the LCD pixels, but I have to hold it pretty close to my face to notice them, at arm's length they're less noticeable than the ones on my laptop). So I have no idea where you're getting this from.

        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          from every resistive screen laptop I ever saw. HP and Toshiba made them, maybe 3 or 4 years ago.

          • 3 or 4 years ago.

            You must be new to this whole progress of digital technology thing. May as well have been a century ago.

            • Heck my Treo 180 had resistive touch and no "screen door" effect. Only time I ever saw anything like that was a very early pocket organizer that had a grid of translucent dots on the screen.

      • The N900's screen is considered one of the best available even though it is resistive.
        No screen door - it looks incredible and many people have said its sensitivity is as good as or better than most capacitive screens.

        Oh and it comes with a regular slab of plastic stylus.
        Fits really nicely in the case and gives you extra accuracy in Angry Birds. :)

      • With the added bonus that you get to look at everything through a screen door!

        Uh, what the hell are you talking about?

        • by jc42 (318812)

          With the added bonus that you get to look at everything through a screen door!

          Uh, what the hell are you talking about?

          I think they're talking about the grid effect that's often very visible to people with good close-up vision on most screens. I notice it a lot more than my wife does, probably because my eyes are a lot better than hers. But I learned years ago to quietly ignore that part of using a screen. The little blank lines between the pixels aren't moving or blinking or anything, so it's easy to ignore them and just notice what the pixels are telling you.

          Something funny I learned recently, since I got a good digita

      • by ncc74656 (45571) *

        With the added bonus that you get to look at everything through a screen door!

        Huh? I used a Treo 650 for a couple or three years, and its display didn't look any different than any other LCD I've run across (touchscreen or not).

    • +1 I'm trying to delay my "upgrade" to capacitive touch for as long as possible. Luckily the N900 has a resistive screen.

  • Harden up (Score:2, Funny)

    by kickme_hax0r (968593)
    Alternatively, just don't wear gloves. Your body (hopefully) has a lower minimum operational temperature than your touchscreen device.
    • by Dare nMc (468959)

      True if it is any Apple device, none of their devices (iphone, Ipad, Laptops) are rated for use below freezing. However most other manufactures of touch devices are rated for a wider temperature range.

    • My touchscreen device isn't affected by wind chill, nor is it likely to come into contact with the pavement, even if I have an off while riding my motorcycle. I'd like to be able to use the Google Navigator on my Android while riding*, but can't really until I find a way to add a stylus...or until these gloves become available in a motorcycle version.

      *For all the safety Nazis out there, no, I don't try to type in my destination while cruising down the street, but it would be nice to be able to change de
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Stregano (1285764)
      or don't use it outside. if it is so cold that you think you need a special pair of gloves to use your iPad, then maybe you should not be using it at the time and should put it away
      • by Darinbob (1142669)
        That was my first thought. Are people addicted to these devices that they must use them 24 hours a day? Can't they just NOT TEXT for the short period of time that they're outside?
        • by psyclone (187154)

          Uh, it sure would be nice to unlock the screen and answer a call with gloves on.

          Some of us are outside for long periods of time, even when it is quite cold.

          • by Darinbob (1142669)
            Probably best to get a real phone in those situations. Ones with buttons. Not a pda pretending to be a phone.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by reason (39714)

      Nope. My core body temperature, yes, but I've often found myself unable to operate a touchscreen because my finger-tips were too cold. When that happens, I sometimes resort to using my nose.

  • I don't know about you but I will be using the speech to text and voice command features on my Droid X more and more during the winter when I have gloves on.
    • Text to speech on my Hero doesn't let you change from Navigator to phone, nor start the text messaging app though.
      • by RulerOf (975607)

        Text to speech on my Hero doesn't let you change from Navigator to phone, nor start the text messaging app though.

        I'm going to assume you mistyped, otherwise your reply makes no sense taken in the GP's context, soo....

        Let me get this straight... you're lamenting the fact that you can't use your voice to tell your phone that it should send a text message? Maybe someday these advanced phones we have now will allow you to communicate through your voice alone!

        • Yeah, there was a typo. sed "s/Text to speech/Speech to text/". What I was trying to say is that speech to text does not fully replace a touch screen interface, since you can't launch apps, etc. by voice command. Yet.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Just like the swallow may fly south with the sun or the house martin or the plover may seek warmer climes in winter, should not the ipad?

  • I don't know about you crazy people, but staying alive is higher outdoors than using my touchscreen android. :P

    here in Winnipeg Manitoba: we dip down as low as -42 degrees. (that's in Celsius, but it's the same temperature as fahrenheit.)

    honestly, looking at my phone outdoors 8 months out of the year is the least of my concerns.
    • by Joe Snipe (224958) on Wednesday November 03, 2010 @04:14PM (#34117080) Homepage Journal

      we dip down as low as -42 degrees. (that's in Celsius, but it's the same temperature as fahrenheit.)

      Actually that was Fahrenheit, you would write Celsius as -42 degrees. It's an easy mistake to make.

      • you just repeated what I typed. it must be an easy mistake to make. :P
    • by anss123 (985305)
      My touch phone stops working long before it gets that cold.

      Annoying since I use it as my watch.
      • as does about 2/3rd's of the equipment one can install outdoors. seriously, try finding IP cam's that are rated down this low: there are only a handful or two that are rated for us: and they're often pretty shitty cameras overall.

        (note: something rated TO -40 does not hold up in -40. the rating is the extreme end and the chances it will work after experiencing this for any length of time are low) with temperatures ranging from -5 to -40 with additional 5-10 degree drops with wind chill: equipment gets re
      • by Yvan256 (722131)

        So you have a time-freezing device? That's cool!

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      here in Winnipeg Manitoba: we dip down as low as -42 degrees. (that's in Celsius, but it's the same temperature as fahrenheit.)

      Not exactly. -42 Celsius is -43.6 Fahrenheit. They are the same at -40.

    • by Abcd1234 (188840)

      here in Winnipeg Manitoba: we dip down as low as -42 degrees.

      Yeah, here in Edmonton we say that, too. But you and I both know those reflect unusual cold snaps, not the norm.

      The reality is, an average winter day is in the minus 20s, and you can easily get by without gloves at all, so long as you have a decent winter jacket that has, like, pockets. 'course, if you plan to manipulate a touchscreen for even a little while, a pair of gloves isn't a bad idea, but even then, unless it's for prolonged periods, yo

  • plain leather gloves (Score:5, Informative)

    by tverbeek (457094) on Wednesday November 03, 2010 @04:07PM (#34117016) Homepage

    I have two completely different pairs of generic off-the-shelf leather gloves. They're a bit klutzier than bare fingers - they're gloves, after all - but they both work well enough with my iPhone. I figure it's because skin has similar electrical properties to... skin. Or am I just really lucky that these work somehow?

    • by CAIMLAS (41445)

      I've kind of adapted my glove wearing a bit.

      I'm used to having to work outdoors during winter nights, on occasion. It's a mixture of rapid moving and exertion and standing and doing nothing for hours on end. For this, I need a combination of things:

      * nimble fingers
      * good insulation for my whole hand

      What I've come down to is a pair of wool mittens with a 'finger convertible flap' which turns them into fingerless mittens. Underneath these, I wear textured gortex gloves - basically, 'cop gloves', and/or (depen

    • by terwey (917072)
      here it 'sometimes' works. it's a bit wobbly but it's enough to "Slide to Answer" ;) yup plain ol' leather... €3 for a pair at markets... ;)
    • It may be that the iPhone is less finicky, or you may indeed have been lucky enough to select gloves that work well with a capacitive screen. My leather motorcycle gloves, however, don't work at all with my HTC Hero. I haven't tried any other gloves, nor have I tried any other touch screens...although, I wonder if perhaps it could be due to the fact that I have one of those protective films over my screen?
    • I've got a leather golf glove (probably about 15 years old) that works just as well as my fingers on a capacitive touch screen. Maybe I just need a pair of those.
      • by psyclone (187154)

        My leather golf gloves work great on a samsung galaxy S capacitive touch screen, but _not_ on the capacitive buttons below the screen, which is a bummer for switching applications.

  • Nanook (Score:5, Funny)

    by paiute (550198) on Wednesday November 03, 2010 @04:10PM (#34117052)

    When snowblowing, I change selections and volume on my iPod Touch with my nose.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I often find that I accept incoming calls with my tongue. Gross but effective.

      • No way, no way, will l lick anyone's cell phone just to make a call.
        • by Ambvai (1106941)

          Presumably, you'd be licking your OWN cell phone, not just anyone's...

          • by sznupi (719324)

            It might not matter, considering how riddled with bacteria touchscreens supposedly are. Of course, might not really make a difference either way, considering how riddled with them our faces and mouths are...

            (really people, we are walking colonies of bacteria anyway, anything beyond basic hygiene doesn't make too much of a practical difference)

      • by Yvan256 (722131)

        Rule 34 about cellphones and/or get a room, you two!

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by shikaisi (1816846)
        Please, I beg you that no one tell us about any other warm body extremities that they use to operate their iPhone. This whole thread's going in the wrong direction.
  • This is EXACTLY why I love my n900 so much... resistive touchscreen, transflective LCD. Who started that stupid capacitive touchscreen hype anyway? I use my n900 a lot, day in, day out. The resistive touchscreen is NEVER a problem. Being able to scribble things down with a stylus, however...
    • by phyrexianshaw.ca (1265320) on Wednesday November 03, 2010 @04:46PM (#34117414) Homepage
      At the end of the day it comes down to one reason:

      capacitive screens are brighter.

      Even though resistive screens may be superior in almost every other way: it's hard to sell something you have to look through constantly these days. people like bright, colorful screens: alas.
      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        All the resistive screens I have ever seen looked like I was looking through a screen door, has that been fixed?

        I have a capacitive screened device and actually have an app installed just to let me lower the brightness below the normal bottom level.

        • *Looks at his resistive touchscreen phone*

          Yup, no screen door. At least, not one larger than the LCD pixels.

      • by owlstead (636356)

        Are you guys insane? Capacitive screens are interesting for a single simple reason: no need to use the stylus.

        And if you think that does not matter, I've used various palm devices using a stylus and the difference is just HUGE.

        First of all, you don't have to worry about loosing the frickin' stylus.
        Second, you can control your device with one hand.
        Third, you don't have to get out the stylus to control the phone. Not a problem when using it continuously, but you'll notice the difference when you need to do an

  • N1 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jethro (14165) on Wednesday November 03, 2010 @04:19PM (#34117144) Homepage

    When I use my thin (i.e., down to 40 degrees) gloves, my Nexus One works just fine. I can also use it through plastic bags and clothing, which is a bit weird when you're trying to clean some smudges off the screen with your shirt (and yes, I have a screen protector).

    However, it does get down to -40 around here and nobody makes gloves that'll work on a screen when it's THAT cold. That's more about the gloves being crazy thick/insulating, though. I suppose I could sew some conductive thread through my gloves on my own, but then that'll conduct the cold right into my gloves, too.

    Which is why I wish my phone had SOME physical buttons, say, for ANSWERING and HANGING UP. It's a bit ridiculous to have to take my gloves off to answer a call by swiping across the screen.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by CAIMLAS (41445)

      This is yet another reason why I really can't get excited about modern touchscreen phones.

      OK, so it's got a 4.5" display. Awesome.

      Can I use it during the winter? No. The screen/input method doesn't even work during fall weather in most of upper North America.

      Can I use the phone without looking at it? No. I've basically got to look at what I'm inputting, as I'm inputting it, regardless of how good the input method is: there's no tactility. That's great for answering the phone when I've got my glasses off, or

      • by sznupi (719324)

        Making most of external surface from metal, glass, etc. seems also slightly bizarre. Those are materials which get, subjectively, damn cold and unpleasant to hold even when it's merely chilly outside.

      • by Jethro (14165)

        I agree with you about most of that, except I really have no problem using my N1 for input, even when it's cold.

        Here's the thing though. I didn't get the N1 because it's a good phone. I got it because it's a cool little mobile computer. Honestly I don't really need to be able to use a web browser or email client without looking at the screen (:

        One of the nice things about an N1 (as opposed to, say, an iPhone) is that I can go to the developers forum(s) and put in a feature request to, say, have the phone an

    • by EkriirkE (1075937)

      Conductive thread isn't solid metal or it would just simply be wire; its usually a silver-coated nylon. If you don't want to puncture the gloves you can just as easily sew the thread through the seam(s) on the fingertips without increasing any exposure.

      You'd probably need some fancy 11tybillion-decimal-place thermometer to detect any change in heat loss from the thread.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by jenny1032 (1931974)
      We tested Agloves in a local grocery store freezer at -25Degrees F. They worked like a charm. They work because the silver is knitted throughout the entire glove. This is important because, if your fingers are too dry (because they are too cold) to conduct, usually SOME part of your hand has the moisture barrier to be conductive. That bio-charge moves through the gloves and to your fingertips, so Agloves continue to work in the cold. While they are warm gloves, they are not thick enough to keep you war
  • Man up, and don't wear gloves.

    Also, this technology is a cover-up. What they are actually developing here is touchscreen-enabled gloves for GOTHS. We've managed to keep them in line, and contain the infection because they don't have access to human technology. This would enable them to conquer the world. Just say NO to touchscreen-enabled gloves!

    • by H0p313ss (811249) on Wednesday November 03, 2010 @04:46PM (#34117422)

      Man up, and don't wear gloves.

      In the real world day-to-day weather conditions can actually kill you if you're stupid. I strongly suspect you have never walked around in weather so cold that the humidity of your breath freezes your nose hairs and if the wind comes up you have to turn around and hide your face until it dies down.

      Man up here and you die son. You die a fool, not a hero.

      • I'm fairly certain that there is a large swath of land in the "real world" of which you speak where day-to-day weather conditions couldn't kill you no matter how stupid you were, at least not on the end of the temperature scale where gloves are required. Don't confuse the real world with the location you chose to live in.
        • Never underestimate the power of stupid people to bring about their own demise. IIRC, it's possible to die of hypothermia even in relatively mild conditions, if there's a little wind and you manage to soak your clothing (for example, by falling into a creek or pond).
          • IIRC, it's possible to die of hypothermia even in relatively mild conditions, if there's a little wind and you manage to soak your clothing (for example, by falling into a creek or pond).

            (Just to bring this amusing and generally enjoyable digression back to the topic of TFA...)

            Yes, it sure is possible to freeze to death if you're a bit chilly, it's a bit windy, and a you're wet. But after all that, your fancy touch-screen phone is fucked anyway so no high-tech conductive glove in the world will help you ca

        • by H0p313ss (811249)

          Don't confuse the real world with the location you chose to live in.

          I do hope you were aiming for irony.

      • by Firethorn (177587) on Wednesday November 03, 2010 @05:09PM (#34117674) Homepage Journal

        I am a self admitted Polar Bear. I wear shorts when there's snow on the ground.

        In the middle of winder I will be wearing so many layers it's not even funny. Gloves? I wear mittons because they're warmer.

        When they talk about it being so cold that exposed skin will freeze in less than 5 minutes, they mean it.

        Ability to use the phone even with gloves would help occasionally.

        Oh, and for the operating temperature thing - you keep the phone close to your body to keep it's temperature up.

  • Do LCD screens even work when its 40 below ? I thought they would freeze up.

  • by spetey (164477) on Wednesday November 03, 2010 @04:40PM (#34117358) Homepage

    Just please don't buy Dots Gloves. I was excited about them, bought them months ago based on their slick marketing, and finally got them delivered a couple weeks ago - they looked nothing like the ads. They were a pair of the cheapest, thinnest wool gloves you can imagine, with some conductive thread clumsily sewn over the very tips of the thumb and first two fingers. Horrible, horrible, horrible - so bad I've been looking for opportunities to give them bad word of mouth for it.

  • Interesting stuff. From the article's image, the AGloves seem pretty utilitarian. There's also a company MyGloves* [my-gloves.com] that produces gloves with similar functionality .. the difference is that they have conductivity elements on only the main digits of your hand (index, thumb) and they're stylized with different prints / marks / fabric, it seems. Just tossing that out for the masses to chew on..
  • by plj (673710) on Wednesday November 03, 2010 @05:25PM (#34117872)

    ...in addition to APT, general hackability and real qwerty for fast typing.

    It has resistive touchscreen and thus works well in -10 C, or so, when the gloves are not particularly thick.

    Not that well in -25 C though, as using thick mittens tends to make touch somewhat imprecise. ;) But at least I can use thinner gloves underneath them so that I won't have to take them completely off.

  • I know there are capacitive styluses in existence for sale online, and i know it's possible to make one yourself if you want to deal with the hassle, but why isn't it possible to walk into _any_ cell phone store and just grab one off the shelf? Multi-touch is great for some applications, but in a lot of cases you only need to touch one spot at a time, and a stylus is much more accurate and obscures a lot less of the screen. I don't understand why there isn't more of a market for them. And it would solve the
  • by hitmark (640295) on Wednesday November 03, 2010 @06:48PM (#34118750) Journal

    Projected capacitive screens are supposedly able to register fingers even when gloves are worn.

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