Beating winter smartphone dilemma Tech Talk Nick DeLorenzo
Last Modified: February 15. 2013 9:47AM
But a funny thing happens when I put on gloves: My phone stops working. More accurately, the screen stops registering touch. It‚??s not broken, but the gloves prevent it from functioning properly. The same thing holds true for most smartphones. Frankly, I find it annoying to have to peel your gloves off just to make or take a phone call.
Here‚??s the deal: Most newer touch-sensitive phones use what‚??s called ‚??capacitive‚?Ě touch technology. Basically, when you touch the screen, sensors register the changes in the electrical properties of the screen caused by your fingers. Since your fingers are relatively good conductors of electricity , touching the screen creates a noticeable change. The materials typically used in gloves are less conductive, making it much more difficult for the screen to sense your touch. This also is one of the reasons why newer devices don‚??t come equipped with a writing stylus ‚?? although in most cases these devices have very ‚??finger-friendly‚?Ě controls.
Older devices used ‚??resistive‚?Ě technology ‚?? two conductive layers were placed over the screen with a thin gap between them. Touching the screen caused contact between the two layers. Resistive devices are still widely used in other applications (such as large touch screen displays or point-of-sale systems) because they are less sensitive to incidental damage -- and because they‚??ll work if the user is wearing things like surgical gloves or using a stylus.
For those of you who want to have your Apple, Gingerbread or Blackberry (why do they keep naming these things after foods?) and use it too, no matter what the weather, a company called AGloves has the answer. They‚??re like regular gloves but with one difference ‚?? the fingertips are coated with conductive material, so you can send a text without suffering from acute frostbite.
I found AGloves on thinkgeek.com. They‚??re on sale now for $15.99, which seems like a reasonable price. For more information, go to http://tlgets.me/45n or scan the QR code.
It‚??s not a huge problem, granted, but it‚??s annoying from time to time. The gloves certainly are a more elegant solution than others I‚??ve seen ‚?? I seem to recall an enterprising Japanese salesman marketing ‚??sausage on a stick‚?? as an iPhone stylus solution. Whatever works, I suppose.