People who want to use capacitive touchscreen devices outdoors on chilly days currently have to wear conductive gloves, such as Agloves or Etips – that, or they just have to endure getting cold fingers. As anyone who lives in a truly cold climate knows, however, there are times when gloves just aren’t warm enough. That’s where ISGLOVES come in.

ISGLOVES are a high-tech variation on that favorite of mailmen in cold places around the world, fold-back mittens. When the user isn’t doing any “touchscreening,” the mitts look and operate like regular mittens ... and for those of you lucky enough to not know, mittens are much warmer than gloves, as the wearer’s enclosed fingers are able to share each others’ warmth. Once it’s time to do some screen-poking, however, the ends of the mittens fold back to expose the user’s fingers, which are sheathed in capacitive inner gloves built into the mittens. Those gloves still provide some insulation, so the bare fingers don’t have to be exposed directly to the wintry air.

The outer mitts are made from recycled polyester and recycled heat-trapping 3M Thinsulate microfibers, while the inner gloves are composed of anti-bacterial, hypoallergenic, sweat-absorbent, sustainably-grown bamboo fiber, along with conductive polyester yarn.

National University of Singapore undergrad Charmain Tan first came up with the idea for ISGLOVES when she was on an exchange program in Sweden, where she experienced the challenges of touchscreen use in very cold temperatures. She proceeded to team up with three other students, who now manufacture and sell the mitten/gloves through their company, FiETT (Fun in Ecological Tech Textile).

While ISGLOVES are currently only available in stores in Sweden, the group hope to establish an international network of dealers within the year. The mitts can also, however, be purchased online via the company website. Although regularly priced at US$78, they are currently on sale for $39 a pair.

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