When attempting to use a touchscreen device while wearing gloves, you may discover that the device fails to respond to your commands. Tapping the surface of a smartphone or tablet computer, for instance, may trigger the touch command if you use a bare finger. While wearing gloves, though, the device fails to respond. But there’s a special type of glove that doesn’t suffer from this problem. Known as touchscreen gloves, they’ve become increasingly popular in recent years.

Overview of Touchscreen Gloves

Touchscreen gloves look and feel like ordinary gloves. In fact, most people can’t tell the difference between them and a standard pair of gloves. The key difference between the two, however, is that touchscreen gloves contain conductive material — material through which electricity easily flows — that allows the wearer to operate a capacitive touchscreen device. Whether it’s a smartphone or tablet computer, all capacitive touchscreen devices identify touch by measuring changes in capacitance. While a bare finger is conductive, standard fabrics are not. Therefore, traditional gloves can’t be used with capacitive touchscreen devices. Touchscreen gloves, on the other hand, can be used with capacitive touchscreen devices.

Finger Tip vs Full Hand

There are two primary types of touchscreen gloves: finger tip and full hand. Finger-tip touchscreen gloves only contain capacitive material at the tips of the fingers. This means the wearer must touch his or her fingertip to the surface of a capacitive device in order for the device to register his or her command. If the wearer touches the device with his or her palms, it won’t register the command.

Full-hand touchscreen gloves are designed with conductive material throughout the entire product. When wearing them, you can touch any area of the glove to the surface of the capacitive touchscreen device, and it will register your command. Because they contain more conductive material, full-hand touchscreen gloves typically cost more than their finger-tip counterparts.

Fingerless Gloves

In addition to finger-tip and full-hand touchscreen gloves, traditional fingerless gloves can also be used with capacitive touchscreen devices. Fingerless gloves aren’t made of conductive material. Rather, they have the finger tip area cut out so that the wearer’s finger tips are exposed. This allows the wearer to operate capacitive touchscreen devices. As the wearer’s finger tips are exposed, he or she is able to make direct bodily contact with the device. When this occurs, the user’s body absorbs some of the device’s electrical charge, allowing the device to identify the user’s touch commands.