Chances are you own some gloves that aren’t touchscreen compatible, forcing you to remove your gloves to text or do other tasks on a phone or tablet.
You can now change that: Simply paint on a new product called Nanotips to the index finger, dry with a hair drier, and voila! Your gloves are touchscreen compatible. That’s the company’s claim.
Nanotips comes in a small bottle with a brush much like fingernail polish. To apply you simply brush it on and it works with any glove, including Gore-Tex, waterproof, leather, fleece and thick ski gloves.
How does it work? Well, let’s back up to the device first: Almost all hand-held devices use “capacitive touchscreens” that have an electrical charge, or field. Humans conduct electricity. When you touch the screen, you disrupt the electrical field, communicating to the device (hopefully) to open an app, type a letter or snap a photo.
With non-compatible gloves, you are insulated from the screen, thus, it won’t work. Somehow (and we’re not sure how this works exactly) Nanotips makes the outside of the glove able to disrupt the electrical field of the screen much like your naked finger.
While there are hacks to do this (simply stitch conductive thread through the fingertip), these require poking holes in your expensive mitts, something I just won’t do to $100-plus waterproof gloves.
Nanotips offers two products, one for fabrics and one for all other materials (leather, nylon, polyester). Using one of these two, the company claims that every glove material can be made touchscreen compatible.
Of course there is a catch — you have to re-apply after weeks or months depending on use. Each bottle costs $20 and is enough for about 15-20 applications, so even with reapplication, Nanotips is affordable. A bottle should last a full winter for most people.
I’ve yet to test this product, but if it lives up to the promises, it will be a welcome addition to many technophiles’ gear closets.