How to Stay Warm While Operating Your iPhone in the Cold

New technologies give rise to other new technologies and complementary goods. I love my iPhone and, living in a warm climate, I always have fingers warm enough to operate the heat-sensitive letters on its screen. But in a cold climate, I would have the same problem others have – I would have to choose between being able to operate the iPhone and having warm fingers. The two are no longer mutually exclusive: Companies are marketing mittens and gloves with fold-over buttonable fingers, so you can briefly expose your warm, functioning fingers to punch in letters and numbers on the iPhone, and keep your fingers warm when not using the device. Human ingenuity, even in a minor area like this, is truly remarkable. (HT: KBB)

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  1. travis says:

    Use your nose, plus Swype. It gets easier with practice. Surely your dignity is not too high a price for all-weather iPhone…

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  2. Ian Kemmish says:

    I remember being impressed to see a friend wearing those in December 1988, a good twenty years before the introduction of the iPhone. So I suspect the cause and effect which you cite is not the true explanation. On the other hand, they’re so apparently useful that for them to remain almost unknown for so long suggests they must have a serious design flaw somewhere….

    I would not be at all surprised to learn that these had been invented in the trenches, or even the Crimea, where normal fingerless gloves (i.e. without the foldover bit) would not have been much use.

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  3. Greg says:

    I’m almost 100% certain it has nothing to do with heat-sensitivity. Apple’s touchscreens make use of the fact that as current flows past your finger through the screen it has a slight capacitive effect, slowing the flow of the current as it attempts to flow into your finger. The gloves are a sufficient insulator to negate this from happening.

    Of course the screen doesn’t work below a certain temperature, but that’s a whole different problem.

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  4. Dan says:

    Like Greg said, I’m pretty sure that it’s the electrical impulses that make the iphone go. That means that the fingerless gloves–which have been around for a long long time–are not the innovative new product they appear to be.

    However, winter gloves for an iphone that allow conductivity–which a quick search on google or amazon will reveal–are exactly that type of product

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  5. Cash McDollar says:

    In the Season of Frost and Cold, many drivers are most grateful for their vehicle’s Electrically Heated Seats.

    I have a million dollar idea that expands the Concept: ELECTRICALLY HEATED PANTS. It would have a plug in adapter or even a battery pack. It would be some fashionable jeans or dress slacks. Unisex?

    Call it ” Hot Pants” or ‘ElectroSlacks’ or ‘PowerJeans.’
    Just don’t spill the coffee or Juice.

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  6. Sam says:

    The Koreans have been using hot dogs to get around this problem. There are all kinds of benefits with this solution: (1) you don’t need new gloves, (2) hot dogs are cheap, and (3) you always have lunch around if needed. See http://www.engadget.com/2010/02/11/south-korean-iphone-users-turn-to-sausages-as-a-cold-weather-me/

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  7. Brian says:

    The problem as Greg pointed out is not heat but the current running through your fingers. The actually make gloves that conduct this current without you having to remove them at all, or you can make them yourself with a lot less effort than you’d think. http://www.engadget.com/2009/02/16/hands-in-with-the-dots-iphone-gloves/

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  8. anon says:

    As Ian mentions, these are not a new invention.

    They have been around for as long as I can remember in Canada.

    The design flaw is that they let snow in because they’re not a single piece – they have a massive break in their middle. Additionally, they’re not as warm as gloves without the break.

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