Posted on 20th Jul 2011
Agloves™ were introduced in September 2010 to help people stay connected to their touchscreen devices during cold, glove-wearing months. They are essentially knitted winter gloves. But because Agloves are made with actual silver (“Ag” on the Periodic Table of the Elements), the gloves have far more power than simply allowing folks to use a capacitive touchscreen device with gloves on.
Silver is, in fact, an extremely powerful metal. Apart from being the most conductive element on the Periodic Table of the Elements – more so than copper or gold – silver is also reflective, thus providing the greatest thermal regulation of any metal. Dubbed one of the “best winter gadgets of 2010,” Agloves effectively, and accurately!, keep people connected to all types of capacitive touchscreens including iPhones, iPads, Droids, eReaders, and even ATMs.
“We wanted a simple solution to a problem that everyone is discovering,” said Jennifer Spencer, Agloves’ Inventor and President.
Jennifer has since listened to several Raynaud’s customers who wrote Agloves expressing gratitude for how much Agloves helped with touchscreen compatibility.
But if touchscreens are capacitive, not heat sensitive, why would cold fingers associated with Raynaud’s be less effective on a touchscreen? When the body senses a decrease in temperature it naturally sucks out the moisture in your skin, with hopes of keeping your body temperature more normal. The lack of moisture translates to decreases bio-electricity potential, and in turn, decreased responsiveness on a touchscreen.
With this knowledge, Jennifer got busy testing a hypothesis: If Agloves have silver knit throughout the glove, it might maximize skin surface area enough to trump the decreased moisture problem of cold fingers and hands.
Jennifer Spencer surveyed 25 random people with Raynaud’s who expressed interest in Agloves. After receiving a complimentary pair of Agloves, each person was given a survey to test the usefulness and effects of Agloves.
How touchscreens work: Touchscreens such as iPhones are capacitive and work when the body's natural bio-electricity conducts a small charge to the touchscreen. This conductive “conversation” requires moisture and salts to be present on the surface of the skin. When hands get cold, skin tends to get dry out, resulting in a reduction of conductivity. This, in turn, causes trouble when people try to use most touchscreen devices.
After analyzing the XX-question survey, Agloves found three important results that each suggest Agloves improve people with Raynaud’s experience with touchscreen devices.
First, 62.5% of respondents said Raynaud’s phenomenon made it more difficult for to use touchscreen devices, generally. Raynaud’s respondents said that either all of the time or most of the time touchscreens did not recognize their touch, making it more difficult to do things like texting, emailing or operating ATM type devices.
In contrast, nearly 8 out of 10 survey respondents said they could operate a touchscreen device better. Respondents felt that Agloves made it easier to text, email, work with photos, search the Internet and answer the phone. This combination of findings suggests that even for the minority population of people with Raynaud’s who don’t recognize a problem accessing touchscreens, Agloves improve user’s ability to use touchscreens in almost every case.
Next, survey results suggested that Agloves are warmer than regular knit gloves. About 60% of respondents found that Agloves regulated hand temperatures better than normal knit gloves. This is likely a direct result from silver being a natural thermal regulator. Heat from the palm will natural move to colder areas to even out temperatures. An additional 29% indicated that hands were warmer, but did not notice that temperature was more even when wearing Agloves.
Finally, 100% of respondents replied they would recommend Agloves to other people with Raynaud’ Phenomenon. This was based on a yes or no question.