Smart Gloves Are a Cool Idea for Smart Phone Users
These gloves use touchscreen technology to make using the phone a little more comfortable in cooler weather.
The people who create technology must be at least one part genius, one part child and one part pioneer.
How else do they come up with ideas that change the way we do things? It takes a whole lot of smarts, creativity and determination to not only identify a problem but to figure out a solution that makes life a little bit easier.
The Agloves brand of smart gloves are a perfect example. They're gloves with touchscreen technology.
I never realized I needed gloves such as these until I saw an ad for them online. Then I thought, “Wow, that’s so cool. I have to try those."
Today’s smart phones and other devices with touchscreens employ something called capacitive sensing technology, which uses the human body as an electrical conductor. (This is about as technical as I can get, but if you want to really understand how this technology works, go here.) Because these devices require skin-to-screen contact in order to work, when you need to use your touchscreen outdoors during the colder months of the year, you have to first remove your gloves.
Agloves are soft, lightweight gloves with silver-coated fibers knit into their fabric. They fit snugly on your hand and allow you to text, surf and maneuver around your screen with ease while keeping your hands a little warmer. Because the special fibers are woven throughout the fabric, the gloves are suitable for left-or right-handed individuals, and you can use any finger or fingers you want to access your screen.
I ordered a pair of these gloves from Amazon for $17.99. They’re available at other sites online, including the Agloves’ site, for the same price. The gloves come in the original style, which is what I bought, or a thicker sport version. Black is the only color option, and the style is basic enough that it would work well for men or women.
I initially tried them out on an overcast day when the weather was windy and in the low 50s. My hands are often cold, and it is not uncommon for me to wear gloves in this kind of weather. They kept my hands protected from the wind fairly well and performed exactly as advertised. I was able to text, type and move around the screen of my Droid smart phone easily. They also worked with the touchscreen navigation system in my car and with my iPod.
I tried them again one morning when the temperature was in the low 40s and found them to be a little too thin to keep my hands very warm, though they still worked well with my phone.
These gloves are not a game changer. It really isn’t a big deal to remove a regular glove if you need to use your phone while outdoors in the winter. However, they are kind of handy and cool.
Commuters who take a train or a bus to work or spectators who spend a lot of time in the stands would probably get a lot of use out of these. I’ll use them when the weather is not bitterly cold and might even buy a couple pairs to give as Christmas presents with explicit instructions that they never be used to text while driving.
I’ll also probably think that I’m a pretty cool cat by sporting technology on my fingertips as I wonder what they’ll think of next.