Many motorcycle gloves now come with pads on the index finger so the gloves can be used with touchscreen such as smartphones, GPS units and MP3 players.
Touchscreen sensors detect a tiny electrical charge transferred to the finger which completes a circuit and drops the voltage at that point on the screen, activating the button’s function.
While your finger will conduct electricity, most glove materials won’t.
Touchscreen-sensitive gloves feature an electrical conductive material in the finger tips.
However, you can quickly and cheaply convert any of your favourite gloves into touchscreen gloves.
GloveTacts are thin faux-suede stickers that go on the index finger and/or thumbs because many people use their thumbs for texting.
They are claimed to stick to “almost any glove”, old or new, so long as they are cleaned first.
A pack of two costs $US10.
They are made of AX Suede Connect which uses organic compounds that mimic how the skin interacts with touch screen electronics. It’s also claimed to be abrasion resistant, which is good for riders.
Not any type of suede will work, so don’t go buying 3M stick-on suede used on dance shoes.
We wonder how long they would stay on the glove, but they claim they are durable and that you can wash the gloves without losing the GloveTacts.
Farkle Fingers from Adaptiv Technologies are different.
They are little pouches that go over the fingers or thumbs of your glove. One side is made of stretchy nylon and the other is a conductive material.
They are claimed to be one-size-fits-all but we wonder whether they will feel tight on some fat fingers and loose on others. We are also concerned about losing sensitivity for the levers, especially on already thick winter gloves.
They claim they won’t slip off because they have a latex-like rubber grip on the inside and even come with a small elastic tab to help you pull them on and off.
A pack of four costs $US20 and the advantage is you can swap them from your winter to summer gloves with the change of seasons.
If you want to do it yourself, you could buy some conductive thread and sew a few stitches on to the finger tips, but it is not always very effective or accurate.
It takes a long time to dry, but once it’s on, it is claimed to be waterproof and will not wash off.
Even the USArmy uses Any Glove on their combat gloves, so it must be tough.
However, it will wear off in a few weeks and need reapplying.
A bottle of AnyGlove costs $US20 and $15 for Nantips which is contains enough for about 30 applications.
The accuracy of any of these products will never be as good as your finger because a glove is fatter than your fingertip and the touchscreen may get confused about what button you are touching.
While some touchscreen functions can be quickly and safely performed while riding, we advise that anything complex such as texting be done when you stop. At least now, you won’t have to remove your gloves first which is great for convenience and in cold weather!