It was early December last year and the wind was biting, there was rain in the air, and the paths were frosty. I was waiting for a train to take me to Birmingham, but luckily I was wearing my lovely new down jacket and a pair of gloves. I was quite toasty, as were everyone else at the station that day. Oh, except for some guy who just wore a shirt and suit jacket, he must have forgotten to put his coat on. Poor thing.
Anyway, someone’s phone rang. He pulled it out of his pocket and frantically tried to answer it in that swiping motion that Apple have conditioned us all to use. We’re like embodiments of Pavlovian conditioning the way we bend to the rule of our gadget masters. Mark my words, in ten years’ time we’ll all have permanent hunches, spindly fingers and claw-like hands. Our bodies will have only one function – answer the phone and flip through Facebook.
I digress, let’s get back to the ringing phone.
There was a problem. Our hero was wearing gloves, so the phone refused to answer, it just wouldn’t respond to his constant swiping. Siri didn’t even answer when he swore at her. Poor Siri.
Realising his gloves were causing the problem, he attempted to pull the glove off by biting it. However, this caused the phone to slip from his grip and land, glass down, on the platform.
There was an audible “ooooh” from the crowd as £600 worth of electronics hit the floor and shattered. He just looked at it, dejected and sorrowful.
You see, that’s the thing about screens these days, they’re made for fingers. They’re what’s called “capacitive” which means they react to touch from a human finger or anything else with an electric charge. That’s right, you have electricity running through you (I do, too, I’m not calling you weird or anything), so when you touch a screen you cause capacitance and your phone knows where. Put a glove on, and you’re insulated so you can’t operate the screen.
This is obviously not a problem in California where these things are designed, but in the rest of world, where we have seasons, it’s a big issue, and phones go unanswered or smashed on pavements.
Except there is another way!
Someone invented a glove that had capacitive material in it, fibres running through it that emulate the resistance your fingers would provide, so there’s no need to rip off your gloves to answer the phone.
And would you believe it, we have some here!
I’m writing this because even though it’s summer, I’ve just been outside, and it’s freezing and I thought I might need gloves soon. Due to the relative insanity that is the British weather, though, you’re probably reading this and it’s 25 degrees outside. If that’s the case, just park it for later. Very soon that winter’s gonna come calling, and you can’t say I didn’t warn you!