With Raynaud’s Phenomenon (Wikipedia) being one of the wondrous things I get to enjoy, I’ve got to stay pretty much in gloves all the time during Winter. The thing I’ve struggled to resolve is being able to perform basic functions on my phone without having to take my gloves off.
I know that capacitative gloves aren’t a new thing, but the problem I’ve always found is trying to find a nice pair of leather gloves. Doing some research, I came across a Lifehacker article on how to Make any pair of gloves work with a touchscreen. That in turn linked to an article on Fashion Tech.com about Conductive Thread. I couldn’t quite believe this sort of thing actually existed. Normal thread that conducts electricity… I was even more bewildered when it turns out that you can pick the stuff up off Amazon for under a fiver.
My mum (my go-to authority on such things) offered to help me out with the work. The difficulty faced was that putting a hole into the surface of a piece of leather would ruin the fabric. So our plan involved pushing through the seams at the top of the finger, giving me a capacitative pointer. We stitched a coil of the thread to the lining of the glove, then pushed a length through the lining and the stitch at the top. Rather than trying to loop in and out through the glove, Mum got a brainwave to loop it through the glove’s own external stitching, which kept things nice and clean on the outside.
Quick tests with iPads, my Galaxy and the Ticket Machine at the station shows it works fantastically. The coil under the pad of my finger on the inside carries a small charge through the thread to the loop on the outside. Mum took some of the thread and stitched it into her gloves, wanting to make using the self-service machines at supermarkets even easier.