From wet, cold, and glove-friendly Britain come the Fivepoint gloves, a stylish way to stay warm and still touch your favorite mobile device.
The last several years have seen the rise of one overriding mobile device feature - touch. Be it an Android, iPhone, iPad, Galaxy, Desire, a camera of some variety or a laptop, or a touch screen in one of thousands of malls and airports around the world - everything runs on touch.
There are two kinds of touch-sensitive screens currently being used. The first employs an older technology known as resistive touch technology. In this kind of screen, two layers of thin metal are overlaid by glass. The pressure of a finger on the glass screen compresses the metal layers and the device registers a touch. Any object - stylus, finger, stick, nose - can be used on a resistive screen.
The more common and modern option is what is known as capacitive touch technology. In this method, a constant electric charge is distributed across the face of the device. When a finger comes in contact with the device, a portion of the charge is picked up by the poking digit. This change in charge lets the device know not only that is has been touched, but where.
Unfortunately for those of us who live in climates that have winter as one of the four seasons, capacitive devices do not respond to objects that cannot conduct electricity, such as gloves. This makes a brisk walk outdoors difficult if one wants to make or receive a phone call or text, as the gloves must be removed before the phone can be used, or a touch-screen camera can take a shot.
Fortunately, someone has now divined a solution to your cold-handed problem. Fivepoint gloves, brainchild of the British digital communications firm Etre, are made of soft lambswool to keep hands warm and dry, but have special conductive fingertips that allow devices to be touched. Currently, the company is producing its first run of the gloves, which are due out in January 2011. They come in navy with grey fingertips at the time of this writing, with more styles and colors on the way in the coming months.
Fivepoint gloves: stylish and touchy.
The concept here is simple, but the execution is stylish. The gloves look good and are soft enough that they will not scratch devices, and with all ten fingertips having the "special" conductive material, they become as useful as if you chose to actually remove them.
Currently, the gloves are available for pre-order at the company's Web site and their similar, three-fingered option, the Touchy, is available via the UK version of Amazon.
Fivepoint gloves - you've got to hand it to them.