Capacitive touchscreens are the in thing at the moment – used on many of the current generation of smartphones. These screens rely on the fact that the human body is an electrical conductor, and when you touch the screen you affect its electrical field. This lets you use just the lightest of touch, and does away with the need to use a stylus.
There’s a problem, though, that rears its head in winter. Gloves tend not to be conductive, so trying to use your smartphone when wrapped up against the elements just doesn’t work. There have been a number of companies producing gloves to overcome this. Some use silver thread to make the gloves conductive too. The other day I received a pair of Dot Gloves from Mobile Fun to try out.
The Dot Gloves have Silicon tips to act as the conductor. When I first heard that I did wonder what they would be like – after all, the Silicon I’m most familiar with is bathroom sealant! I didn’t like the idea of gloves with rubberised fingertips. Fortunately I was wrong – the tips feel just like the rest of the gloves, and they feel, well, normal.
Do they work? Absolutely – the gloves are like those magic gloves that stretch to fit but look quite small before you put them on. That means they’re pretty skin-tight, and the control you have while wearing them is similar to when you don’t have gloves on at all… except that your hands are warm. As with magic gloves, these aren’t windproof, but it’s a definite improvement on going without and it’s great to be able to use my iPhone without having to take my gloves off.
If I have any complaints it’s that the stitching isn’t quite perfect. There are a few loose threads where the Silicon tips have been sewn on. A little attention with a pair of scissors will remove the loose ends, however, so this isn’t a massive problem.
All in all, the Dot Gloves are a nice way to keep using your touchscreen mobile phone during the winter months. They aren’t going to keep your fingers warm in extreme conditions, but if you’ve worn “magic gloves” before you’ll know what to expect. The stitching could do with being a little tidier but, barring that, they’re great.
Thanks to Mobile Fun for sending me a pair of gloves to review. Mobile Fun stocks a huge range of mobile accessories, including iPhone 4 Screen Protectors. If you’re after something for your mobile, head on over and check them out.