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Moments of Innovation

Touch screen mittens get warm reception

Saturday, June 02, 2012 - 01:56

June 3 - Touch screen gloves, developed several years ago for tech users in cold climates, have received an upgrade in an unlikely location. Students in tropical Singapore have turned the glove into a more efficient mitten featuring a unique double-layer that allows the transfer of electrical impulses from fingers to the screen in the coldest weather. Tara Cleary reports.

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The ISGlove, a touch screen-sensitive mitten for tablet users in cold climates ... created in sultry Singapore. Touch screens rely on the electrical signals from a user's fingers to function, but according to ISGlove co-inventor Charmain Tan who spent a year in chilly Sweden, screens don't work so well when you're wearing gloves. SOUNDBITE: CHARMAIN TAN, ISGLOVE CO-INVENTOR, SAYING (English): "Normal gloves are like insulated materials, they're like your clothes, your jacket. These are all non-conductive materials, so you would not be able to use on the current touch screen gadgets with just a capacitive screen that detects a change in electrical signal or impulse that is normally generated by your body." Existing touch screen gloves were not warm enough for Tan when she was in Sweden, so she and her fellow students came up with a two-layer solution featuring an inner glover and an outer mitten flap, on trial here at the coldest place in Singapore, the Eski bar. Tan Yan Liang is the head of production. SOUNDBITE: TAN YAN LIANG, ISGLOVE HEAD OF PRODUCTION, SAYING (English): "We use polyester fibre that is nano-treated, to give it some conductivity, as well as we blend with bamboo yarns. So because it's conductive, electricity is able to pass through my fingers, across the medium, through the glove, onto the touch screen devices." Eski Bar customer Natalie Yap was impressed. SOUNDBITE: NATALIE YAP, STUDENT, SAYING (English): "The gloves are really very sensitive, scrolling and maximising, it's very easy, it feels almost like a second skin." The team has formed a company which is selling the mittens online and in Swedish stores. And they're working on a version with a mitten flap just for thumbs, giving texters in cold climates the ability to spread the word. Tara Cleary, Reuters.

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Touch screen mittens get warm reception

Saturday, June 02, 2012 - 01:56