As someone who has cycled in temperatures down to -30C (-22F), I can certainly attest to one thing: OK, yes, you have to be a bit crazy, but also, it’s really hard to keep your hands warm and dry. If you wear gloves, no matter how well-insulated they are, your fingers will eventually get cold. This is because they don’t have access to each other’s body heat, and just don’t generate enough on their own. Using thick mittens keeps your hands a lot warmer, but often to the point where they actually start to sweat. And manual dexterity with mitts? Imagine a lobster trying to ride a bike. Fortunately for us crazy people, Toronto cyclist Hamish Greenland has addressed this problem with an invention he calls the BarBra.
For powder hounds looking for a convenient way to keep track of the best runs down the mountain winter sports accessories manufacturer Zanier has announced the X-Plore.XGX – the first glove with full GPS functionality. Aside from making sure skiers won’t lose that gnarly stash of powder or get lost, the GPS enabled gloves also record altitude, speed, distance, duration and other route data for upload to the web once back at the ski lodge.
You are in a freezing cold condition with a thick glove on. How do you use your touch screen GPS, touch screen phone or a touch screen media player without taking your gloves off? Well, you can if you are wearing the new North Face Etip gloves. They feature the company’s "X-Static" fabric on the tips of the thumbs and index fingers which allows you to operate any touch-screen device, without having to take them off.
Anyone who has tried to use a multi-touch touchscreen with anything other than their bare skin will know that it’s just not possible, no matter how hard you press. That’s because the capacitance technology used for the bulk of multi-touch devices
doesn’t detect pressure, but measures the changes in electrical resistance caused by contact with a conductor – in this case, the human body. That might be annoying in cold climates, but is an even bigger problem in situations that require the wearing of protective gloves. Getac’s line of rugged Tablet PCs
will be the first commercially-available rugged computers to solve this problem by offering a multi-touch screen that works with or without gloves.
Bodysurfing is almost unique in that it requires nothing more than a human being to capture nature’s forces for fun and physical wellbeing, but like most human pursuits, a little extra help can make it so much more. We first wrote up WaveBlades six years ago
– the Waveblade is a hand-worn glove-like Bodysurfing device that enables you to catch waves that were previously uncatchable, go faster and further and do new tricks thanks to the extra control available. You can also swim faster – all for US$200.
August 7, 2007 Man-machine interfaces have predominantly targeted the aural and visual senses but improving technology has opened up the potential for new levels of interaction based on touch. At SIGGRAPH
(Special Interest Group for Computer Graphics) this year, Haptic Telexistence
will be demonstrating its latest sophisticated touch interface and providing a glimpse of the huge potential for haptic
October 25, 2006 There’s nothing as important as a competitive edge in the high-stakes game of world class sport and the recent launch of a new manufacturer in the sportswear industry with a seeming significant advantage will be interesting to watch. Simon Skirrow has spent three decades in the global sports industry, including many years at Adidas in charge of global marketing, promotions, product and sales, and his new company, SS Sportswear was established less than three years ago to bring its Nomis grip technologies to market. Independent tests show that Nomis Control Leather Technology gives up to 16 times more grip and control on the ball in the dry and eight times more grip and control when the leather gets wet. Not surprisingly, quite a few professionals have trialed the technology and a few have walked away from lucrative contracts with competitor products to stay with the Nomis technology, most notably Liverpool star Harry Kewell amongst more than 40 professionals that have begun wearing the boots. Nomis is available in both boots
in the UK, USA, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the internet
and the company is seeking further international distributors
. Adding weight to the professionals who have adopted the new technology, two of NOMIS' boot designs took first and second place in the 2006 Soccer International Magazine Boot Test, beating big-name brand competitors including Adidas, Nike, Puma, Reebok and Umbro. Both NOMIS boots scored top marks for comfort, stability/manoeuvrability, touch/feel and received a perfect score for the 'value for money' category.
July 29, 2006 Having to work with very hot objects during our daily toil is thankfully not something most of us need to endure but it’s commonplace for many plumbers, metal fabricators, welders, steel workers and other industrial workers. Traditional heat gloves are known for protecting hands from high heat and flammable materials, but they're also known for what they can't do, which is to provide touch and feel that enables the user to perform detailed hands-on tasks. Last year performance work glove manufacturer Ironclad
showed around a concept glove which promised to change all that and it has now introduced its new Heatworx gloves which combine protection from high heat with exceptional dexterity and performance. The gloves incorporate a proprietary HotShield synthetic palm and Dupont Kevlar fabrics. HotShield has the look, feel and durability of leather, yet is heat and shrink resistant; water and oil repellent; and cut, puncture and abrasion resistant.
December 1, 2005 As computers learn to enhance and augment every human endeavour, it was only a matter of time before talentless, uncoordinated individuals such as your humble writer could indulge their musical ambitions and produce sounds to match those of their dreams - and the Virtual Air Guitar project is well on the way to setting would-be musicians free, without the need for even an instrument. Playing the Virtual Air Guitar is simple. You pull on a pair of orange gloves (for the image tracking to recognise what your hands are doing), and strum a big chord and that's exactly what happens - you hear a power chord with punchy distortion. Now move your left hand along the imaginary neck and strum again - it's a different chord. You can't play any "wrong" chords here - they have been pre-selected for you. When you're ready, press the switch pedal to change from chord mode to solo mode and you suddenly have a pentatonic minor scale on the three top strings, with fret slides and vibrato. Play hard enough with feeling, and you start getting screaming distortions. It's easy enough that you can pick it up in ten seconds, but especially the solo mode has just enough freedom for every solo to be different. You don't really need to know anything about guitar solos, except for how rock guitarists perform on stage. And there's a virtual drum kit under development too.
November 13, 2004 This innovative, high performance winter sports glove allows wearers to use their breath to inject a quick blast of warm air onto their hands without removing their gloves. By exhaling into the port, warm air is directed to the fingertips, instantly warming the hands. Since their introduction last year 180s Performance Gloves
have been utilising the patent-pending Exhale Heating System to protect athletes participating in various outdoor activities.