On those chilly days when you hardly see any sunshine, you’re bound to dress up for the weather, and gloves are a must-have accessory in such cases. But traditional gloves now come with the fault of being incompatible with the modern touchscreen devices, ranging from Human Machine Interfaces (HMI) to smartphones and tablets.
That’s why touchscreen gloves were invented, and in this article, you will learn what these essential gloves are made of. After looking at the various touchscreen technologies you will see how even ordinary gloves can be converted into touchscreen gloves. You will also find out whether touchscreen gloves are safe for your personal use.
Types of touchscreen technologies
To properly understand what touchscreen gloves are made of, it’s important to know some basics of how touchscreens work. There are more than five touchscreen technologies, but the two most common are; capacitive and resistive.
Capacitive touchscreen technology requires an input device that’s a good conductor of electricity. That’s why our bare hands perform great with touchscreen devices because our bodies can excellently conduct electricity.
Resistive touchscreen technology on the other hand, only needs the input device to apply pressure, on the specific point of the screen to recognize the touch command. In this case, any material would work with a resistive touchscreen as long as you press down hard enough to apply the required pressure.
Touchscreen gloves were therefore invented to work with capacitive touchscreens and that explains why they are made in the processes described below.
How are touchscreen gloves made?
Touchscreen gloves are normally made of regular gloves with modified fingertips, embedded with the conductive material. They can also be made of fully conductive material allowing the whole glove to work with capacitive touchscreens.
It is this conductive material that allows the fingertips or whole palm (depending on the type) to absorb the electrical current produced by the capacitive touchscreen. This is what makes gloves touchscreen-friendly and practically allows you to do what you would otherwise have to do with your bare hands.
The presence of salts and moisture on the hands is what makes our fingers and palms conductive. That’s why touchscreen gloves that are only designed with a conductor on the fingertips, may not work as effectively as those designed with a blend of conductive threads.
This is because the palm is the best conductor compared to the fingertips due to the dry nature of fingers. When the palm releases the moisture and salts, the current is easily directed to the fingertips with a fully conductive glove.
There are several good conductors of electricity used to make touchscreen gloves such as; silver, copper, thermal paste, and aluminum.
Some touchscreen gloves are made with nylon fibers coated with real silver thus making them conductive. These types of gloves are normally fully conductive and more effective compared to those made of conductive material only embedded on the fingertips.
Silver threaded touchscreen gloves are also known to retain heat without necessarily using thick threads for gloves. This allows the wearer to maintain the warmth they badly need in their hands whilst going on with their business as usual with regards to the use of capacitive touchscreen devices.
Copper yarn is commonly used to make touchscreen gloves because it enables the absorption of electrical currents produced by the capacitive touchscreens. Copper is known to make fully conductive woven gloves by mixing the copper yarn with the threads.
3. Thermal Paste
Commonly used to fill gaps between heat sinks and processors, thermal paste’s conductive nature also allows it to work with capacitive touchscreens. That then makes it a good material for making touchscreen gloves.
Although aluminum is not highly conductive like copper, it can still conduct electricity just like your bare palm. That’s why it’s also used to make some touchscreen gloves because aluminum is supported by capacitive touchscreens.
Are touchscreen gloves safe?
Contrary to the belief of many people who’ve heard about touchscreen gloves, these conductive accessories are not powered at all. There’s a common myth that touchscreen gloves use batteries, and that they can cause the gloves to malfunction and knock your body with an electric shock.
But as already described above, touchscreen gloves are not powered, but only supplement the role of your palm and fingertips when handling capacitive touchscreens. It is therefore very safe to use touchscreen gloves even in a chilly winter without the worry of being electrocuted.
With a wide array of touchscreen glove designs cropping up every day, it can be a bit confusing knowing what touchscreen gloves are best for different occasions. That’s why The Gadgets Judge has reviewed the leading brands for the year 2021 to enable you to choose the best touchscreen gloves for the coldest seasons.
There are many different materials used to blend with the conductors described above in the making of touchscreen gloves. Some of the most common are wool and leather. Wool is either used as an inner lining to provide warmth or even knitted together with conductive yarns such as copper and silver. Leather touchscreen gloves are composed of leather treated with a conductive material hence making them fully conductive.
Touchscreen gloves can also be made of ordinary gloves modified by adding a glove tact on the fingertip of the gloves. This tact is made of high-tech conductive adhesive and materials that make any kind of glove touchscreen compatible.
This design is commonly used by bikers who normally wear heavier gloves customized to sustain the cold air when riding a motorcycle. A glove tact is also said to be even more effective than the touchscreen gloves made of woven conductors on the fingertips. This is probably because of the highly conductive adhesive and material used to make the tact.
So whether you want to keep your stylish leather or woven glove, or you want to purchase a new pair to work with your touchscreen devices, you certainly have enough options to choose from. Never again should you worry about having to take off your gloves on a cold winter just to use your phone or tablet computer.