How To Make Your Motorcycle Gloves Touchscreen Compatible
While riding a motorcycle, you may sometimes, if not frequently, have to use your mobile phone to attend a call, as well as to use a number of useful applications to plan your ride.
Lately the manufacturers have taken these new requirements into account and developed new features that allow motorcycle gloves to be recognized by touch screens. However, this is not always the case with each and every glove depending on its characteristic features. In such cases, you have to remove your glove to be able to operate your smartphone.
But what if we tell you that such feature can be incorporated in your glove by additional means and you do not necessarily need to switch to another glove just to be able to use it?
You read it right! It is now possible to transform your motorcycle gloves and make them touch sensitive.
In today’s article, we will be discussing several ways to make your motorcycle gloves tactile so that you do not have to remove them in order to attend your phone or operate your dashboard console. Keep on reading further to know how.
But first of all, let’s clear one common doubt.
Why you can't operate touchscreen devices while wearing normal gloves?
Capacitive touchscreens, the most common type of display that account for over 90% of modern-day mobile phones and GPS devices, work by measuring capacitance. These capacitive touchscreens have a type of sensor that reacts to elements that are electrically conductive. When you touch the display with a bare finger, your skin being electrically conductive will absorb electrostatic charge transferred from the screen. This transfer of charge is then detected by the device, which then operates as per the command specified by the user.
Motorcycle gloves, on the other hand are built to protect the rider from harsh environments, and thus have thick insulation. As a result, when the screen is touched with the gloves, a circuit is not established, since your fingers are not able to absorb the capacitive touchscreen’s electrostatic charge due to the presence of insulator (gloves) in between them. And this is the reason why you can’t operate your mobile phone, GPS, or even your dashboard console with your gloves on.
Why do you need tactile gloves?
Although, you do not necessarily need specialized gloves because devices with the latest iOS & Android operating systems offer the option of adjusting the touchscreen sensitivity to be used with conventional gloves. But there is no guarantee that these settings will perform optimally. So, in case you only need to respond to a call, this solution is feasible, but for anything else, you may require alternative solutions.
The tactile gloves make this possible. In most cases, only the index finger is touchscreen-enabled. However, you can also find models where all the finger tips including the thumb is embedded with the conductive thread.
How to make your leather motorcycle gloves touchscreen compatible?
Almost all the motorcycle gear manufacturers have at least one variant that is compatible with smartphones, however, if you are on a tight budget, or in case you already own a motorcycle glove, you can still enjoy the benefits of a touch screen glove. Tony Yu, a motorcyclist himself, decided to go on Kickstarter with a solution to this problem. After being funded and backed by several investors, he finally came up with Nanotips, a conductive liquid that allows you to make the tips of your glove conductive.
The world’s first liquid solution, Nanotips is made to make any glove touchscreen compatible. Engineered from a conductive nano polyamide solution, this liquid replicates the way human skin works, which allows the riders to use their smart-phone, tablet, GPS, or other touchscreen devices effortlessly.
Surprisingly, Nanotips (Black) will work on all motorcycle gloves, even those thick, padded, and insulated winter motorcycle gloves. It consists of evenly dispersed ultra-fine conductive nanoparticles, and on top of that, each nanoparticles have been carefully prepared so that they are interconnected; this helps to form a conductive film on the surface of the glove. The solution is specifically formulated to withstand the most extreme conditions, and are thus waterproof. Priced around $25 (€19.95), a single application of Nanotips will last up to 20 days and you get 30 applications per bottle!
With Farkle Fingers, any pair of gloves can be made touchscreen compatible. All you have to do is just slip it over the tip of your gloves and start enjoying the convenience of using any touchscreen device.
Thanks to Adaptiv Technologies, the maker of this amazing product, you can now make a phone call from a smartphone, operate your GPS, or work around your dashboard consoles without pulling off your gloves. In fact, due to their stretchability they are ideal for any glove size!
Priced at $20, with each packet you receive 4 Farkle Fingers.
GloveTacts, designed as stickers, can be easily affixed to the exterior surface of the glove where tactile capability is desired. They are crafted from a rugged polyurethane film and incorporate a special adhesive that is formulated to last for a long period of time.
Besides, they are extremely easy to attach and use. All you have to do is apply them to the areas on your gloves where you want a tactile touch.
Moreover, GloveTacts perform well in a wide range of temperatures. Ideally, the operating temperature ranges from -20°C to 45°C, and they also work perfectly well even during downpours. No humidity or moisture impacts their conductivity, although a dry screen yields more efficiency.
Priced around $15, with each pack you get 6 stickers.
And last but not least, a specialized, game-changing fluid that turns any glove into a touchscreen compatible glove. Moreover, it is quick and easy to use. All you need to do is simply put few drops of this liquid on the fingertips and spread it evenly while wearing the gloves. Once dried, you are ready to use your touch enabled fingers to operate your smart phone.
As the name indicates, this product can be used on absolutely any type of gloves; textile gloves, leather gloves, touring gloves, sports gloves, and even dirt bike gloves.
Priced around $20, this small bottle will last for several months even if you are a daily commuter. And if your AnyGlove-treated gloves stop working with your touchscreen, simply reapply the liquid and you are back in business!
Make your summer motorcycle gloves tactile with this simple DIY kit
You can find a lot of inexpensive summer gloves in the market that have conductive material at the fingertips. But if you already own a pair of summer gloves and buying a second pair specially for this feature sounds bizarre; you can follow this simple DIY process to make your favorite gloves compatible with your smart phone.
- The first step is to walk to the nearest craft store and buy a metallized (fiber) thread that matches the color of your gloves. This will become the conductor of capacitive charge transferred from the capacitive screen to your fingertips.
- Next, take around 45cm of thread and put it in a needle.
- Analyze the spots on the glove that you normally use to tap on the touch screen and mark them with a marker. This is really important since an incorrectly positioned conductive thread will be of no use whatsoever.
- Once you have marked down the spots that need touchscreen capability, start sewing around it. You can also leave some thread inside to ensure better conductivity.
- Follow the same process with all the fingers and thumb as desired.
- Carefully check the stitching of the gloves by peeking inside, or if they are unlined, you can turn them inside out to check the stitch. In general, the thread should make good contact with your skin. So, make sure your stitch is well in touch with your fingertips.
- You can tie the end of the thread and your gloves are ready to use. Repeat the process if required.
Note: This solution should only be considered in case you have an unlined, vented, mesh type motorcycle glove. Sewing is strictly not recommended in case your gloves are made of leather or are lined with Gore-Tex, Hipora, or any other water-resistant material.
So, these were some of the recommendations and suggestions from our side in order to make your motorcycle gloves tactile. However, please note that none of the solutions are permanent and may need your attention from time to time depending upon their efficiency. Furthermore, their accuracy will not be the same, when compared to your fingertips. But still, something is better than nothing!
Side note: Our humble request to all our beloved bikers out there; please refrain from using your electronic devices while riding.
Check out these amazing motorcycle gloves priced below $50 that are touch screen compatible!
That’s all for now. Have a great day!