Make any gloves work with a touch screen

The chill of autumn is upon us, and with it comes the awkward sport of trying to work touch-sensitive phones and gadgets with gloved fingers. One can try toughing it out with fingerless gloves, or we’ve seen some costly solutions in the forms of specialized gloves and capacitive-compatible styluses, but sometimes simple is best: all it takes is a few stitches of conductive thread in the fingertips.

Conductive thread is available from various sources; SparkFun Electronics comes naturally to mind, but most vendors carrying the LilyPad Arduino will stock a suitable thread as well. Don’t fret if you’ve never sewn before — just a few simple loops are required, and it doesn’t need to be especially tidy. In principle this should work for trackpads and capacitive mice as well, if you use those in the field. For multitouch devices, add a separate conductive bit to each fingertip.

[via Lifehacker]

Comments

  1. Mdnight says:

    LilyPad Arduino :’)

    dude I was annoyed by the anti-arduino comments but it seems you guys are have these things up your ass waiting to come out with every new article.

  2. Phil Burgess says:

    @Mdnight: I was cringing while writing that bit, but it’s just a fact: when tracking down sources for suitable thread, it’s easiest to hit up places carrying the LilyPad. So yeah…guilty as charged, but there was a good reason. Next piece won’t mention Arduino, I promise. :)

  3. zero says:

    This work with non-screen touchpads too, I assume? A la ipod controls? If so, looks like I’m going to have to be acquiring some conductive thread.

  4. me! says:

    So how soft is this conductive thread. I have seen it but never used it.

    Bottom line: Will this scratch the screen?

  5. me! says:

    ….wasn’t the LilyPad designed for soft goods comuting anyway? So clearly that is where the materials are.

  6. Spork says:

    http://www.lessemf.com/fabric.html

    About 1/4 of the way down is the same thread as sparkfun for a few bucks less.

  7. christopher says:

    …so it begs the question, why hasn’t anyone made a g*dd4mn stylus with this yet? Every other so-called capacitive stylus sucks monkey balls.

  8. therian says:

    Iphone cant use smile stylus, plastic pen, tooth pick, or what ewer is around :D

  9. jeditalian says:

    samsung impression works through plastic so the only thing i dont like about it is the lack of a headphone jack, but ima buy a bluetooth dongle and hack together two of those useless jabra bluetooth headsets that take AAAA batteries. that is, if you can connect two devices at once. somebody who actually has a bluetooth dongle can clear that up for me. but anyway ima wire them up a rechargeable AAA with some stupid wires. i thought bluetooth was supposed to wirelessly power devices dammit!
    lol i did read that somewhere like 5 years ago but it looks like the writer was full of shirt.

  10. jeditalian says:

    i bet it sucks so bad when you scratch your capacitive touch screen. what is my AMOLED called since it works with nonconductive stuff like my RAZORSHARPCLAWS

  11. bluefoxx says:

    Don’t see huge point to this, I’ve yet to find any devices I can’t use with a pair of leather sports gloves (Such as one might wear while biking).

  12. Vonskippy says:

    What type of wussie can’t remove their glove for a few minutes. Oh yeah, we’re most likely talking about iPhone users, aren’t we.

  13. vash says:

    yup defeneatly done for iphone users. my palm pre works with or w/o gloves.. eather way i agree with Vonskippy just take em off!

  14. Dan Fruzzetti says:

    Anyone who ever in their childhood taped a piece of wire to a touch lamp already knew this, i thought

  15. Seth says:

    This trick won’t work on my laptop touchpad, but anyway, here’s my tip on how not to scratch iPhone/iPad screen.
    STRAP SOME CANADIAN BACK BACON TO YOUR FINGERTIPS!

    mmm, bacon..

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