Touchscreen Devices and Gloves Don’t Mix — or Do They?

Winter has definitely arrived here in the UK, with temperatures dropping over the past week or so, prompting me to break out my winter coat and gloves. I actually quite enjoy the changing seasons, but gloves are awkward because they don’t work with devices with capacitive touchscreens (like my iPhone, and also the trackpad on my MacBook), and constantly removing and replacing gloves when fiddling with my phone quickly becomes annoying. Fortunately, I’ve found there are quite are a few workarounds that let you keep warm mitts and stay connected on the go.

  1. Use fingerless gloves. Any style of fingerless gloves will obviously work, but the Etre Touchy gloves I added to my inexpensive gift guide look particularly good, and because they are only missing thumb and index fingertips, your hands will stay a little warmer than full fingerless gloves. If you don’t like the idea of having exposed fingertips at all, then maybe convertible glove mittens are the answer — to answer a call or check email you’d just need to flip back the mitten top.
  2. Use a stylus. You can buy relatively inexpensive styluses to use with touchscreen devices. (Here’s one specifically for the iPhone, for example.) It’s important to use a stylus that won’t scratch the screen over time. If you don’t want to pay for a dedicated stylus or happen to lose yours, Lifehacker provides this clever trick: Use the negative (flat) end of an AAA battery. Because the end of the battery is smooth it won’t scratch your screen, and exhausted batteries work just as well as fresh ones — it works well, as you can see in the photo at the top of this post.
  3. Use conductive gloves. You can buy gloves specifically made to work with touchscreen devices — these Dots Gloves have special conductive pads on the the tips of the thumb and three fingers, and aren’t overly expensive (ranging from $15 to $25 per pair — they appear to be popular as many sizes are currently sold out). There are also these PlayPoint gloves. However, if you don’t want to shell out for special gloves, you can also make your existing gloves work with touchscreens by sewing conductive thread into the fingertips, and it’s easy to do — there’s a tutorial on how to do it over on Instructibles.

Do you have any other workarounds for using gloves with touchscreen devices? Share them below!