Apple files for patent on winter-friendly iPhone gloves

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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.



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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 42
    msnlymsnly Posts: 378member
    So that's why they changed it to Apple Inc.
  • Reply 2 of 42
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,977member
    Best looking patent application fingers I have seen in a long while...
  • Reply 3 of 42
    aiolosaiolos Posts: 228member
    This would be cool, I can't use my iPod Touch when I'm wearing gloves
  • Reply 4 of 42
    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?
  • Reply 5 of 42
    This is the type of silly nonsense that sensible/intelligent voice-activation software could easily replace.



    C'mon, Apple.......\
  • Reply 6 of 42
    msnlymsnly Posts: 378member
    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
  • Reply 7 of 42
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    Just demonstrates they acknowledged the shortcomings of their input screen and tried to plan around the problem.
  • Reply 8 of 42
    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...
  • Reply 9 of 42
    As long as Apple offers an iPhone Gloves/iPod Socks combo, I'm sold! LOL
  • Reply 10 of 42
    hosshoss Posts: 69member
    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."
  • Reply 11 of 42
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 42
    mugwumpmugwump Posts: 233member
    Any chance for an iPhone Moon Boot? That would be so fly.
  • Reply 13 of 42
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 42
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,837moderator
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 42
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 42
    asciiascii Posts: 5,936member
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 42
    i just use my nose much more fun
  • Reply 18 of 42
    omegaomega Posts: 427member
    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...
  • Reply 19 of 42
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,992member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 42
    robogoborobogobo Posts: 378member
    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.
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