[Editor's note: Living in a colder clime, I'm often frustrated that I cannot use the iPhone's touch screen while wearing gloves. If I tilt my finger just right thru the fabric and press hard I can barely get the phone to unlock and place a call. The alternative is frost bite. This patent application demonstrates one solution.]
Republished from iPodNN.
Apple may be exploring the idea of gloves more friendly to touchscreens, an application published by the US Patent and Trademark Office reveals. A problem common to iPhone and iPod users in colder areas, such as Canada and the northern US, is that they must wear gloves when going outside. Because Apple handhelds use capacitive touchscreens however, it may be difficult or impossible for the electrical signals from a person’s fingers to pass through glove fabric.
Apple’s proposed glove design would include inner and outer layers, the former covering the palm and at least one finger. The inner layer would also emulate properties of human skin, namely its electrical resistance. To control a touchscreen, holes in the outer layer would allow one or several fingers to protrude; to keep hands as warm as possible, the holes would be lined with elastic rings and/or some sort of cap, for when fingers are safely tucked back inside.