Why don’t normal gloves work on touch screens?

To understand this, it is first necessary to briefly explain how touchscreens work. Most modern phones and tablets use what is known as a “capacitive” touch screen. This means that there is a network of tiny electrical components called capacitors just beneath the screen, which store electric charge. Human skin conducts (or attracts) electricity, so when your finger is placed on the screen, some of the electrical charge transfers from the screen to your finger (don’t worry, it is a tiny amount!). The phone detects this loss of charge and works out the location of your finger based on how much charge was lost by which capacitor. When you are wearing gloves, the material in the glove acts as an insulator (or barrier) to this flow of electricity, so the device is unable to detect where your finger is.

Why not just take your gloves off to use your phone?

Yes, you could do this. But with many of us being addicted to our gadgets, you would be constantly taking your gloves off and putting them back on again. This is not only frustrating, but you are also at a much higher risk of dropping or losing a glove if you have to keep removing it. Not to mention the fact that your hands would start to feel the chill every time you take them off.

How about fingerless gloves?

These do allow you to use your phone with gloves on, but then you are likely to suffer from one unfortunate problem - cold finger tips!

What is a touchscreen glove?

Touchscreen gloves are specifically designed to allow you to use your phone or tablet without exposing your fingers. They incorporate conductive material into the fabric of the glove which enables electrical current to flow between the screen and your skin, thereby allowing the device to respond to your commands.

What are touchscreen gloves made of?

They are typically made of much the same types of material as regular gloves - cotton, polyester, acrylic etc., with the addition of a small amount of conductive material, for example copper or silver. The conductive fibre is usually concentrated around the finger tips, but can be woven through the entire glove.

Do touchscreen gloves actually work?

Yes they do! You can easily answer calls, swipe and scroll though web pages, or tap out messages. Before buying though, it is important to appreciate that you are unlikely to ever get the same level of precision as using a finger, due to the fact that gloves add bulk, meaning they have a larger and less precise point of contact between you and the screen. To get the best possible functionality, getting the right fit is crucial (not too big or too small). It is also important to make sure you purchase gloves with appropriate amounts of conductive material to be sure that they operate effectively.