How To: 5 Easy Ways to Use Your Touchscreen Devices in the Winter (While Keeping Your Fingers Warm)

5 Easy Ways to Use Your Touchscreen Devices in the Winter (While Keeping Your Fingers Warm)

Winter is coming... and if you don't get that Game of Thrones reference, it's okay, you're still cool in my book.

Winter (or the zombie apocalypse) officially starts on December 21st, and if it isn't already cold where you are, it's going to be. That means bundling up in warm clothes. If you're like me, the first things that gets cold are your fingers. That's why gloves are always in my glovebox (yes... I actually use a glovebox for gloves).

But have you ever tried doing anything with gloves on—it's practically impossible.

I constantly use my smartphone for directions and texting, and there's nothing worse that having to take your gloves off in subzero temperatures just to use your phone's touchscreen. Most touchscreens use capacitive sensing to sense the actions that your finger(s) makes. Your finger basically acts like an electric pointer, but once you put on those gloves, that flow of electrons is totally blocked, rendering your nice and warm fingers useless.

Use Conductive Thread

Luckily the folks over at PopSci thought up this great workaround. You can take any glove (wool would be easier than leather) and stitch some silver-plated nylon thread (or conductive thread) right onto the fingertips.

You can search online for the thread, which is relatively cheap (I found 15 feet on Etsy for five bucks). If you have a device that recognizes multiple finger gestures, then all you have to do is stitch the other fingertips.

Here's a quick video guide to show just how easy it is to do, from Becky Stern of Make Projects.

Use Snap Buttons

If stitching isn't your thing, then you can try this smart glove hack created by Make Projects user Michael Ragan. Instead of weaving the conductive thread into the glove, he used a nickel snap button.

Image via makeprojects.org

This method is probably a little faster than using the silver thread, and you can probably find a snap button around the house. Use an X-Acto knife to cut a small hole on the glove's fingertip(s) that you will be placing the button tab on. Make sure not to make the hole too high or too low for optimal pointing usage.

Once the hole has been cut, you will insert the snap button.

Image via makeprojects.org

Once the button is in place, you can tape it down and invert the glove. With it inverted, place a snap anvil onto the taped down snap button.

Image via makeprojects.org

Then put a snap socket over the exposed button post.

Image via makeprojects.org

Now use a snap setter to set the rivet into place, making sure that the button doesn't move all over the place.

Image via makeprojects.org

Now that the rivet is firmly in place, you can revert the glove and get to work on your touchscreen.

Use Arctic Silver

If you want to take an even easier route, you can buy some cheap Arctic Silver liquid compound.

Image via lifehacker.com

Arctic Silver is a "High-Density Polysynthetic Silver Thermal Compound" that is primarily used in system CPUs, but you can dab a little onto the tip of your gloves and produce that conductive force needed to use your touchscreen. Since this is a liquid compound, some smearing may occur, so hopefully you have a screen protector!

Cut Slits in Your Gloves

You can also just buy yourself a set of one of these "cool looking" finger-slit gloves:

Or you can just make a pair of your own. All you need to do is slice the glove about an inch below the very tip of the finger you want to use. Slice it across just wide enough for you to slide your finger in and out of the glove. That's it!

Or... Just Buy a Pair of Touchscreen Gloves

If you seriously do not want to do any work whatsoever, then there are a ton of gloves on the market that are made specifically for touchscreen use.

Image via mocoloco.com

How do you use your touchscreen device in the winter? Share your tips in the comments below.

Images by Greg Maxson, Michael Ragan, Lifehacker, Mocoloco, Tackle US

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