hi-Call glove gives new meaning to gesture-controlled calling
By Ben Coxworth
September 7, 2012
Sometimes I’ve idly wondered if it will someday be possible to shoot videos just by making a “holding a camera” gesture with your hand. Perhaps not, but in the meantime, Italy’s hi-Fun has come out with a product that’s ... well, sort of similar. It’s a Bluetooth-enabled glove called the hi-Call, and it lets users speak on the phone using the “call me” hand gesture.
The hi-Call is paired to the user’s existing Bluetooth-capable phone, which must be no farther than 12 meters (39 feet) away. A tiny speaker is built into the glove/handset’s thumb, a microphone is in its pinkie finger, and a multi-purpose button control on the back allow users to accept, reject or end calls (unlike some previous phone-hand concepts, it doesn't utilize bone conduction).
To make calls, the phone itself needs to be accessed, unless it is capable of voice-dialing – in that case, calls can be placed using the glove’s button control and microphone. Once a call has been made, subsequent calls to that number can be made from the hi-Call, using its “call last number” function.
The glove’s lithium-ion battery is charged using an included USB cable, and should be good for ten days of standby use, or 20 hours of conversation.
Because of its embedded electronics and conductive fibers, the hi-Call is a dry-clean-only item, and it is not considered waterproof. Considering the prevalence of snow and rain in the winter – at least in places where it’s cold enough to need gloves – this could potentially be a bit of a problem.
In any case, the hi-Call should be available next month in men’s and women’s sizes, in grey or black. It’s priced at €49.99 (US$64), for a set which includes the left-hand handset glove, and a plain-old non-electronic right-hand glove.