Although winter is currently coming to an end in the Northern Hemisphere, a certain cold-related problem with capacitive touchscreen devices still persists – you can’t use them if you’re wearing gloves or mittens. According to Washington, DC-based inventor Alice Ning, however, her TapCaps will allow you to do so, while wearing any pair of gloves.
Presently, people can use conductive gloves such as Agloves, Etips, or the recently-announced ISGLOVES. Ning states that such gloves degrade over time, however, losing their conductive qualities. Also, of course, users can only wear those gloves if they wish to use their devices. Alice’s solution? Adhesive capacitive stickers that can be applied to the fingertips of any pair of gloves.
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Using patent-pending technology, TapCaps are said to mimic the capacitance of the human body. This essentially “fools” capacitive touchscreens into accepting them as fingers. Although still in the prototype stage, the finished product will reportedly be cold- and waterproof, won’t deliver nasty electric shocks to the user, will be silk-thin, and won’t leave adhesive residue on the glove.
Ning is currently raising funds on Kickstarter to perfect the design, then take it into commercial production. A pledge of US$25 will get you a pair, when and if they’re ready to go.
A somewhat similar product already exists in the form of Digits, which are small conductive discs that can be pinned onto the tips of gloves. TapCaps would doubtless be considerably less cumbersome.
The prototype can be seen in use in Alice’s pitch video below.