Winter gloves and gadgets don’t mix. Most touchscreens use capacitive sensing to complete a weak electrical circuit through skin and locate our tapping. And while wool, cotton, and leather gloves insulate hands from the cold, they block the body’s ability to shuttle electrons. Strategic stitching with conductive thread, however, can prevent essential electronics from becoming unresponsive bricks the moment you bundle up.
1. Order silver-plated nylon thread (silver conducts electricity). This can be difficult to find in stores, but major online retailers carry it.
2. Pick a pair of gloves to modify. Although leather works, it’s harder to push a needle through.
3. Stitch the figure of a star or other solid shape onto the glove’s index finger with the thread, making sure it will contact both the touchscreen and your skin.
4. Bundle up and tap away.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.