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Apple files for patent on winter-friendly iPhone gloves

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 
Addressing the complaints of nearly every iPhone owner in a northern climate, Apple has filed for a patent that would cover a means of using a multi-touch device with gloves.

The US Patent Office application notes that capacitive touchscreens like those on the iPhone and iPod touch are problematic in colder weather. As they depend on the electrical response from a user's fingertips, which is often blocked off when wearing insulated gloves, the screens either force users to take off their gloves or else sit tight until they return indoors.

Apple's solution would give gloves a second, inner layer beyond the surface that would simulate the electrical feedback of human fingers when exposed to the outside. Apertures at each fingertip would let users peel back the outer, more weatherproof layer to leave a finger protected only by the inner layer but capable of using touchscreen devices with roughly the same responsiveness as bare skin.

The technique could use either an elastic ring to open or close the openings on the fly, or could have protective caps instead.

Unlike many of Apple's patent filings, the basic goal of the gloves isn't unique: clothiers such as Dots have developed their own gloves that also try to generate conductivity. In most cases, though, these often either limit the size of the contact points or else make the conductive surface part of a single layer and thus reduce the protection of the gloves against the cold.

Credited to inventors Steven Hotelling and Ashwin Sunder, it's not known whether the submitted patent reveals any of Apple's plans. The company only rarely ventures into fabric accessories, such as iPod socks or the pouches that have come with some iPods. The application was originally filed on June 28th, 2007, a day before the original iPhone's launch.
post #2 of 43
So that's why they changed it to Apple Inc.
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post #3 of 43
Best looking patent application fingers I have seen in a long while...
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post #4 of 43
This would be cool, I can't use my iPod Touch when I'm wearing gloves
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post #5 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by MsNly View Post

So that's why they changed it to Apple Inc.

lmao

on a more serious note shouldn't it be "iPhone friendly winter gloves" not the other way around?
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post #6 of 43
This is the type of silly nonsense that sensible/intelligent voice-activation software could easily replace.

C'mon, Apple.......\
post #7 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by trevorlsciact View Post

lmao

on a more serious note shouldn't it be "iPhone friendly winter gloves" not the other way around?

I think it works both ways
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post #8 of 43
Just demonstrates they acknowledged the shortcomings of their input screen and tried to plan around the problem.

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post #9 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

This is the type of silly nonsense that sensible/intelligent voice-activation software could easily replace.

C'mon, Apple.......\

perhaps for certain scenarios, but how exactly would that work in public? You would have dozens of people screaming at their phone around you at any given time.. Not to mention I wouldn't want to share my text/email conversations with the world...
post #10 of 43
As long as Apple offers an iPhone Gloves/iPod Socks combo, I'm sold! LOL
post #11 of 43
I'm all for the gloves. And the whole idea behind the patent protection fairy tale is great.

But why go through all the application drama, and then have China manufacture your products?

"Hey, we can't accidentally manufacture a billion pairs of those gloves and sell them for a dollar because Apple has a patent in the U.S......and we might be sued."
post #12 of 43
I could have sworn I've seen after market dots to put on gloves to do the same thing.
And at least one manufacturer made gloves for this already. Hmm, not available this year. Might have been waved off...

Personally I find that I can do quite a few operations with my nose.

Not kidding.

No, really.
post #13 of 43
Any chance for an iPhone Moon Boot? That would be so fly.
post #14 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apertures at each fingertip would let users peel back the outer, more weatherproof layer to leave a finger protected only by the inner layer but capable of using touchscreen devices with roughly the same responsiveness as bare skin.

The technique could use either an elastic ring to open or close the openings on the fly, or could have protective caps instead.

I suppose you would only need to do this for your index fingers and thumbs, but it does sound somewhat nerdy to use special iPhone/iPod touch gloves. Maybe a real keyboard is the answer for cold weather, or just wait till you get inside and take off your mundane gloves.
post #15 of 43
What's wrong with people using these?



http://www.oneposter.com/Product-rec...kid-28972.html

Sure the fingertips get a little cold but it means that a poorly fitting glove won't give you inaccurate input on your phone or mean that it drops out your hand because you can't hold it securely enough.
post #16 of 43
This isn't for the user. Apple is just trying to get more people to use their iPod Touch or iPhone in places they "shouldn't", but where it only makes sense to already - where it is a failing of the device that we "shouldn't".

What I mean is, Apple is simply trying to make those water submersion indicators go red to get more $$$.

Best I can figure it. My taste for them grows less each day.
post #17 of 43
No one would buy special gloves just to use their iPhone. Unless they were working and the iPhone contained software for their job. They would just take their gloves off for 60 seconds. Or press the buttons with their nose.
post #18 of 43
i just use my nose much more fun
post #19 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

No one would buy special gloves just to use their iPhone. Unless they were working and the iPhone contained software for their job. They would just take their gloves off for 60 seconds. Or press the buttons with their nose.

Why stop at your nose?

Unzips...
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post #20 of 43
Here in Australia we don't have this issue, it was 98F today!

Water immersion indicators are common across all brands, open a phone you'll see a small white strip, some have red lines or crosses on them.

They reduce false or misleading warranty claims and so cut costs.
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post #21 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Omega View Post

Why stop at your nose?

Unzips...

great idea. of course we'll need a new application, iJohnson, to make input easier (sorry, ladies, you'll have to stick with using your nose I guess). But wait, is this really an alternative to taking off your gloves in the cold?

I use my nose occasionally too. Nose schmeg is much worse than fingerprints on the screen, however.

Seriously though. This glove thing is a really funny idea, trying to make an insulator conduct electricity. You could also pick up a pair of shooting gloves, which have a cutout on the index finger for gripping the trigger.
post #22 of 43
Shooting gloves are designed for people spending a lot of time outdoors and are very well insulated but you can flip off the tops of the two fingers you need to operate a rifle.

This also means you can flip off the finger caps to change settings on a touch based device.

I have iPod classic and just use the buttons once in the cold so didn't buy any, but they are fairly easy to get hold of and do the job perfectly without need for layers that may or may not work.
post #23 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by winterspan View Post

perhaps for certain scenarios, but how exactly would that work in public? You would have dozens of people screaming at their phone around you at any given time.. Not to mention I wouldn't want to share my text/email conversations with the world...

Two problems:

1 - People wouldn't be 'screaming' into their iphones.

2 - You are acting like 'everyone' in public has an iphone.

Neither are true,
post #24 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by wraithofwonder View Post

This isn't for the user. Apple is just trying to get more people to use their iPod Touch or iPhone in places they "shouldn't", but where it only makes sense to already - where it is a failing of the device that we "shouldn't".

What I mean is, Apple is simply trying to make those water submersion indicators go red to get more $$$.

Best I can figure it. My taste for them grows less each day.

Oh please! I'm sure their first thought is, lets screw all of our customers over so we can make a small amount of money. We don't care about our image in this world. You sound like someone who is just looking to sue someone over something stupid. If this is what you think of Apple then maybe you shouldn't be a customer of theirs.

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post #25 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by winterspan View Post

perhaps for certain scenarios, but how exactly would that work in public? You would have dozens of people screaming at their phone around you at any given time.. Not to mention I wouldn't want to share my text/email conversations with the world...

You're exaggerating.... often, it's something as simple as 'call home,' spoken in a normal voice (The 'Say Who' app already does this, but it needs a little bit of work - Apple could have done a much better job, I am sure).
post #26 of 43
I've been wondering: What about ladies with long nails?

Maybe I should patent a Long-Nail-iPhone-Friendly-Cap/Applique.....
post #27 of 43
I bought a pair of Northface Etip gloves last year. Maybe Northface forgot to file for a patent.

http://www.thenorthface.com/catalog/...essories.html#
post #28 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by wraithofwonder View Post

This isn't for the user. Apple is just trying to get more people to use their iPod Touch or iPhone in places they "shouldn't", but where it only makes sense to already - where it is a failing of the device that we "shouldn't".

What I mean is, Apple is simply trying to make those water submersion indicators go red to get more $$$.

Best I can figure it. My taste for them grows less each day.

Apple is a company. Companies are in business to make money. If they don't make money, they go out of business. It's that simple. Apple isn't living up to its reputation...it's so great. Blah blah blah. Apple isn't in business to please all the fanboys. Apple makes really, really good computers and iPods, if they didn't I'd buy a Dell. You shouldn't support any given brand. They definitely won't support you. Who cares if they decide to market a product you think is silly or pointless? They could decide to sell iPods that only dogs can hear....maybe it could be some type of training device. Sort of like those whistles. As long as they make superior products, I'll continue buying them.
post #29 of 43
I have a pair of these and they are excellent!! Gloves for iPod and iPhone!!!

http://www.thenorthface.com/catalog/...t_category_rn=
post #30 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

What's wrong with people using these?



http://www.oneposter.com/Product-rec...kid-28972.html

Sure the fingertips get a little cold but it means that a poorly fitting glove won't give you inaccurate input on your phone or mean that it drops out your hand because you can't hold it securely enough.

In freezing weather, your fingertips would freeze. The body extremities (fingers and toes) freeze first. You would subject yourself to frostbite.
post #31 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

No one would buy special gloves just to use their iPhone. Unless they were working and the iPhone contained software for their job. They would just take their gloves off for 60 seconds. Or press the buttons with their nose.

That's your opinion, but people in cold climates would buy them so they don't have to take off their gloves every time they wanted to use the phone, or their iPod Touch, or any of the other cell phones that now use a touchscreen for access.
post #32 of 43
Doesn't have to be northern areas. Los Angeles recently had a storm pass through which dropped evening temperatures into the low 30's, which was cold enough for gloves. My wife discovered that she could not access the phone even with a fabric-based glove. Her response, "This sucks, I have to take my gloves off to use the phone."
post #33 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by hillstones View Post

Doesn't have to be northern areas. Los Angeles recently had a storm pass through which dropped evening temperatures into the low 30's, which was cold enough for gloves. My wife discovered that she could not access the phone even with a fabric-based glove. Her response, "This sucks, I have to take my gloves off to use the phone."

Women...always complaining!

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post #34 of 43
I've never been able to dial on any mobile phone with winter gloves. I think its a silly expectation. When its below freezing temperatures you need to wear extremely thick clothes. You are not worried about making phone calls. You want to get out of the cold and into heat as quickly as possible.
post #35 of 43

.


Edited by sneamia - 9/5/12 at 9:01am
post #36 of 43
You can go to any sports store and get warm fishing gloves that have the first two fingers made out of a Gortex like material that does work on the iPhone. It was cold the other day in my car and those were in the back, so I put them on to drive, and when I got a call, I didn't even think about the fact that it wouldn't work, but to my surprise, I was able to answer the call, and then called someone else just to make sure. Worked like a charm. The only down side is the gloves are camouflage. Maybe they come in other colors?
post #37 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I've been wondering: What about ladies with long nails?

They should have their hands sawn off for crimes against humanity.

I count myself equally amused by this whole scenario as the other southern hemisphere inhabitants on this forum.

Perhaps Apple should just release a cloud of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year in time for the northern hemisphere winter....
post #38 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by steviet02 View Post

Two problems:

1 - People wouldn't be 'screaming' into their iphones.

2 - You are acting like 'everyone' in public has an iphone.

Neither are true,

2 problems explained.

1. People already scream into their phones in restaurants, on the train, in the office etc.
Phone etiquette in the USA is atrocious.

2. Everyone that doesn't own an iPhone doesn't have to yell into their phones because 99% of every phone made has built in speed dial with 1 touch dialing. They don't have to push the home button, slide the on slider, choose the application, wait for it to load and then touch the convenient "SPEED DIAL".
post #39 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacOldTimer View Post

2 problems explained.

2. Everyone that doesn't own an iPhone doesn't have to yell into their phones because 99% of every phone made has built in speed dial with 1 touch dialing. They don't have to push the home button, slide the on slider, choose the application, wait for it to load and then touch the convenient "SPEED DIAL".

people with other phones might not have to jump through hoops to get speed dial, but i sure hear them yell AT their phones a lot. i don't see many iPhone users hating their phones...
post #40 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dunks View Post

They should have their hands sawn off for crimes against humanity.

I am sure you're attempting humor, but I fail to see it.....
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