Since the explosion of touchscreen-based smartphones, glove manufacturers have developed touchscreen-optimized gloves and treatments that allow wearers to maintain touchscreen capabilties while keeping their gloves on. The new BearTek Gloves play even nicer with portable electronics, syncing wirelessly and taking control of functions like call answering and music play.
BearTek Gloves, developed by Blue Infusion Technologies, feature integrated electronics and removable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth modules that sync the glove up to compatible devices. This hardware is all in the left glove.
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After turning the glove on with the power button on top of the thumb and syncing it with the mobile device, you can pocket or mount your device and not have to touch it again. The glove controls multiple device functions through six touch points located on the index, middle and ring fingers – simply tap the thumb to the touch point that corresponds with the desired action and it's done.
The Wi-Fi module syncs the glove to a GoPro action cam, so at the tap of the thumb, the glove turns the camera on, switches between different camera modes, takes a photo, fires a burst of photos and starts/stops recording. The Bluetooth module works with an iPhone, offering call answering/declining and music control. You control either device without ever having to pull the gloves off, fumble around your jacket pockets, or paw blindly at a camera on your helmet.
Blue Infusion launched the gloves last month with its eyes on the holiday season and they could be one of the cooler ski/winter gadget gifts of the 2013-14 season. They come in three different styles; a leather motorcycle glove with carbon fiber reinforcements; a waterproof, Primaloft-insulated snow glove; and a low-profile winter glove designed for everyday wear. The glove kits, which include the pair of gloves and your choice of Bluetooth or Wi-Fi/GoPro module, cost US$225 for the everyday glove, $250 for the snow glove and $275 for the motorcycle glove.
Because the modules are removable, you can swap them between gloves or switch between Wi-Fi and Bluetooth versions in one pair of gloves. The gloves are available sans module starting at $95, and each module costs $140 on its own. The modules offer up to 80 hours of battery life and recharge in about eight hours. An Android module is in the works.
The video below demonstrates the BearTek glove in action.