January 14, 2012, 7:13 AM — Touchscreen smartphone and tablet users know their devices are tough to use while wearing gloves in in cold weather.
The problem is more widespread than one might think, and has spawned a market for specialized gloves that can ease the task and conduct a person's bioelectricity.
One vendor, Agloves, showed off its knit gloves this week at the Consumer Electronics show here.
The gloves, priced at $23.99 a pair, come in black with actual threads of silver woven in, said Jean Spencer, who founded the Boulder, Colo. start-up with her mother.
Many smartphones and tablets, including the iPhone and iPad, rely upon capacitative touchscreens, which means a person's fingertip bioelectricity is needed to activate a swipe or touch action on a screen.
Agloves claims that the silver fibers running throughout its glove can bring the electricity from other parts of the hand to the fingertip. Officials said some gloves from competitors put conductive material in just a couple of fingertips, and thus don't work as well as the Agloves design.
The company uses the Periodic Table symbol for silver, Ag, in its name.
Agloves was launched off in September and claims it has already sold more than 170,000 pairs worldwide.
Some of the gloves are made in China and others in the U.S. The Agloves Web site was down for maintenance this morning, but Spencer said the business is thriving nonetheless.
In a quick trial, Agloves worked quite well moving tiles on the latest Words with Friends game running on my phone.
Unfortunately, Agloves didn't improve my spelling.
Agloves co-founder Jean Spencer shows off the firm's gloves lined with silver.
Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen , or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His e-mail address is email@example.com .
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