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What Are Texting Gloves?

A cell phone with a touch screen, which requires the use of texting gloves.
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  • Written By: Matt Brady
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 16 March 2014
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Texting gloves allow people to operate a touch screen on a tablet PC or mobile phone without having to take their gloves off. One might reasonably ask, “Why can’t any pair of gloves be compatible with touch screens?” The answer lies in something that many touch screens use: capacitive touch. Capacitive touch screens register movement by picking up on fluctuations in the screen’s electrical field, which means that something applying pressure to the screen is only registered it if too has an electrical current. Our skin works wonderfully on most touch screens because we give off electrical impulses. Most cloth, however, doesn't hold an electrical current, rendering it useless on most touch screens. Texting gloves solve that problem by using conductive material, or fabric that’s able to transmit an electrical current.

A texting glove generally only uses conductive cloth on the fingertips that one is most likely to use on a touch screen, primarily the thumb and pointer finger. The rest of the glove is then made with warmer material. When they first hit the market, many were quite thin, and offered only light protection against truly frigid conditions. Over time, however, more insulated versions have been designed by dominant winter gear manufacturers. Nevertheless, no matter how much insulation a texting glove might offer, it seems that the pointer finger and thumb must remain scantily clad, as too much cloth over the fingertips would likely make it too difficult to operate a touch screen with any accuracy.

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Some texting gloves don't use conductive cloth, but are designed so that the thumb and pointer finger are exposed. This is convenient in that one doesn't have to learn how to effectively tap a touch screen with a cloth fingertip; however, that means that, while one is using a touch screen, the thumb and pointer finger are left completely exposed and unprotected against freezing elements. That's one reason why gloves that use conductive material on the fingertips are often marketed as frostbite-free texting gloves.

Some find texting gloves convenient not just for protection against the elements, but because they find it annoying to have to completely remove their gloves to operate a phone or tablet PC. Gloves are, after all, worn not just for winter protection but also as fashion accessories. Texting gloves may thus allow a person to wear their preferred fashion style without having to remove them for every text and phone call.

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Discuss this Article

anon360269
Post 13

Yeah, I got them for a Christmas present today.

SZapper
Post 12

@ceilingcat - I have a few friends that would probably like some hand knit texting gloves as well. Texting seems to be very "in" right now and I don't see it going away.

I do think that eventually manufacturers will come up with a better solution though. The texting gloves discussed in the article don't seem like they would be very desirable. What's the point of gloves if they leave part of your fingers free or don't keep you very warm?

ceilingcat
Post 11

I actually saw a knitting pattern for "texting gloves" awhile back. The gloves weren't made out of capacitive material though. Instead, they were designed sort of like a cross between a glove and a mitten.

Part of the contraption was a pair of fingerless gloves. Then, there was a mitten top to go over them. So you can keep your fingers warm. Then, if you need to text, simply flip the mitten top down and then you can use your exposed fingers to send your text message.

I don't text enough that I needed to make myself a pair of these. However, I'm contemplating making a few pairs as Christmas gift. I have several friends that couldn't stop texting to save their lives!

wavy58
Post 10

Wearing regular gloves can make you waste precious seconds when trying to make an urgent call. I found this out one morning when I was following my friend to work. It was my first day working in the same office with her, and I needed to see how to get there.

She had told me that we would be taking the interstate. I had the radio on, and I heard the announcement that there was a traffic jam on the interstate. It would likely be a few hours before it cleared up, because there had been a wreck.

I could see the exit up ahead. She had already turned her signal on. I tried desperately to get my gloves off in time to call her, but by the time I got free of them, it was too late.

The boss had heard about the wreck, so he excused us for being late. After that incident, I invested in a pair of pretty green texting gloves. I never leave home without them now.

manykitties2
Post 9

Does anyone know if you can buy texting gloves that can do a few different jobs? I really need driving gloves, but also waterproof gloves to deal with all the slush I inevitably end up dealing with in the wintertime.

Right now I am just using a pair of cute mittens I found on sale. While I love my knit gloves they aren't exactly great for texting with or keeping me from the wetter elements. If possible, do you know of any texting gloves that are not only able to multi-task, but also look cute too? Perhaps that is a lot to ask, but no harm in checking.

myharley
Post 8

When my son bought a pair of texting gloves, I thought it was just a novelty that would wear off. Since then, I have seen many people wear them in the winter when they are outside and still want to text.

Personally, I always like to wear mittens instead of gloves because I feel they keep your hands warmer. There are very few times that I need to use my phone to send a text that can't wait a few minutes.

I think this would be a nice gift idea for someone who is on their phone all the time though. My son still uses them and wouldn't be without them when it gets really cold outside.

Perdido
Post 7

Texting gloves may be thin, but they are better than nothing. Sure, my hands get a bit chilly while I'm wearing them outdoors, but at least I don't lose feeling in them, like I would if they were bare.

What I usually do is wear a thick pair of mittens over the top of them. That way, I only remove the mittens when I have to use my phone, so my hands stay warm most of the time.

Mittens work better than gloves for this, because it can be uncomfortable and really constricting to wear two pairs of gloves. Plus, they are way easier to remove quickly when I need to answer a call. Have you ever tried peeling off a pair of gloves with another pair underneath? It's not easy.

seag47
Post 6

Before I knew there was such a thing as texting gloves, I modified a pair of my black leather gloves so that I could use my phone easier. I chopped off the fingertips, and though it made me look like a homeless person, I had no problems using my phone while wearing them.

My aunt and I text each other a lot. She came down for a visit and saw my fingerless gloves, and she knew instantly what to get me for Christmas.

She didn't even tell me about her plan. She just gave them to me, and when I opened them and saw the words “texting gloves” on the box, I cracked up. It seemed like a funny idea for a product, but I knew firsthand that there was a need for them.

lonelygod
Post 5

Up until now I have been using fingerless gloves to get past my inability to use my smartphone comfortably in the winter. I hated having to take my big gloves on and off just to send a quick text message.

I am going to have to look into getting a pair of black gloves that I can use with my cell phone. It really is impressive how they have managed to take your typical leather gloves and make them conduct enough electricity so that you can successfully use the touch screen on your phone. It looks like I won't have to freeze my fingertips off this winter just for the sake of staying social.

StarJo
Post 4

Texting gloves can even help people who have push button cell phones. I know that every time I have tried to call someone while wearing regular gloves, even if I only had to hit redial, it was nearly impossible. With a pair of texting gloves that expose the thumb and index finger, I can easily push the button.

Since I keep my hands in my pockets most of the time in cold weather, having the areas exposed doesn't bother me. I have to make and receive a lot of calls in my line of work, and I spend a lot of time outside, so texting gloves are perfect for me.

Ivan83
Post 3

I have this beautiful pair of wool gloves that my mother made herself. When she gave them to me I loved them but I was worried that I would not be able to use my phone while wearing them. My car takes forever to heat up and so I usually wear gloves while I'm driving.

I was really pleased to find out that somehow they still work with my phone. I guess the knit is loose enough that the electricity from my fingers can still be picked up. I was worried that I would have to get an anonymous pair of winter gloves that would accommodate texting but luckily my mom's do everything I need them to.

tigers88
Post 2

I had a pair of texting gloves a few years back but I got rid of them because they didn't really work. Half the time my phone could not pick up my fingers moving around the screen. The other half of the time my hands were freezing because the gloves were so thin.

Finally I just gave up and threw them in the trash. Frankly, my life is not so busy or important that I need to be able to text outside in the winter time. I can take a few minutes away from my phone and just wait until I get inside to text someone back.

nextcorrea
Post 1

Wow, I've never heard of texting gloves before but they sound like a great idea. I live in Madison, WI and we have some pretty brutal winters. When I got my I-Phone last year I discovered that it was pretty much impossible to use outside without freezing your fingers off.

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