It’s getting cold again, and out come the big coats, hats, scarves and gloves. Smartphone users will soon realize that many warm winter gloves aren’t any good for using touchscreen devices.
The iPhone/iPad and most Android smartphones and tablets use a capacitive touch screen, instead of a pressure sensitive one as used on many other consumer devices. A capacitive type puts an electrical field across the screen, and if another conductive object (for example, your finger) comes close enough to draw off a charge, it notes where that happens.
Some gloves do work with iPhones and Android devices, including smooth leather, but not all. Try your gloves out on your touchscreen phone or tablet.
What you need are gloves that use a conductive thread to mimic the properties of a human hand.
There are a variety of iPhone-friendly gloves available, and we tested the North Face E-Tip Glove.
North Face is well respected for its cold-weather gear, and its clothes are more stylish than most in this area. They are available in four sixes *S, M, L, and XL( and three colours (grey, black and blue).
The E-Tip Glove looks stylish, boasts the iconic North Face logo, and is tight fitting with a silicone grip pattern on the palm for firm holding of ice axes, ski poles, and, yes, smartphones.
Its X-Static fabric has a layer of all natural pure silver permanently bonded to the fibre face.
The thumb and index/fore finger of each glove is specially coated to allow touchscreen usage on capacitive screens like the iPhone’s.
Swiping the phone on, and choosing apps is easy. Thery're not the easiest thing to type in, but for general finger tapping apps they work fine.
North Face claims this inhibits the growth of bacteria, and “helps manage moisture and regulate temperature, allowing the high-speed user to stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter”.
The North Face E-Tip Glove is a stylish, black, tight form-fitting glove that keeps your hands warm and lets you use your iPhone, iPad or Android /Windows smartphone or tablet. They might be a bit hopeless for fast, accurate typing but for switching your phone on and selecting basic tapping apps they work a treat without you having to expose your hands to the elements.