Introduction: Making a Glove Work With a Touch Screen
Winter's coming up (if you're in the Northern Hemisphere) and with winter comes cold weather, and with cold weather comes gloves. But even in the cold your phone probably still rings. And while I love my touch screen phone, I hate that I can't use it with gloves on.
There are gloves out there that allow you do use your touch screen, but why buy special gloves when, with just a few stitches you can convert the gloves you already have?
Update: Here's a video that runs you through the steps:
Step 1: What You Need
You need to be able to sew a few stitches without killing yourself.
You will need:
- A glove.
- A needle.
- 12" (30cm) of conductive thread. (TIP: If you don't want to buy a whole spool, you can buy a few feet much more affordably from SparkFun, Adafruit, or Sternalb.
Unfortunately there are people on Etsy and eBay selling sparkly thread as "conductive thread". It's not and will not work with this project. I've purchased from the sellers linked above and can vouch that it's the real stuff. If you buy it elsewhere be sure that the seller lists conductivity data (ohms per foot or similar). Also conductive thread is not super sparkly, it has a color and finish more like brushed stainless steel.
What's conductive thread? This great article over at Fashioning Technology will tell you everything you need to know and where to get some. And when you get some, you'll find there are tons of interesting things you can do with it. Just look!
(Thanks to the good people at reMake Lounge for introducing me to conductive thread at the last Instructables Build Night)
That's it, lets get to it!
Step 2: Sew
#1 Thread your needle
You don't need a whole lot of thread, just a foot or so.
#2: Sew a few stitches in the finger of your glove.
On the outside try to make the stitches pretty close so it only touches the screen in a smallish area (about 1/4" or 6mm in diameter.) This will help your finger touches be more accurate.
Tip: Don't make it too small! The iPhone, for example, will ignore small touch areas. If it doesn't seem to work very well, try increasing the size of the stitches on the outside.
On the inside of the finger, it's actually good for it to be messy (See #3).
3-5 stitches should be enough.
#3: Leave some extra inside the glove.
You want to make sure the thread touches your finger or your hand on the inside, so leave some extra. Leave danging thread on your knots, etc. You might even tack a bit to the lining of the glove
#4: Repeat on other fingers (optional)
If you use other fingers or thumbs to use your screen repeat the step on them too.
Step 3: Use
Go ahead and give it a try! Put on your glove and see what you can do with your phone.
No, it won't be as accurate as using your bare hands but it is good enough that I was still able to type on the iPhone keyboard without too many errors. And now I don't have to take off my glove just to answer a call or read an email.