Glenn Gould once explained “the futility of living too much by the advice of others”… and this is advice that I will try to adhere to more diligently from now on.
In 2006 I had an idea after noticing that my iPod’s touch wheel could be operated through metal, rather than by direct contact. My mind was racing as I realized the implications of this discovery for users of technology in our climate, especially since the number of touch-operated devices would undoubtedly increase due to the need to have tactile usability for electronic devices.
Anyways, long story short, I thought of the idea of a glove to use with the iPod and even made a working prototype to test my idea. However, many thought that it was “funny” or “stupid,” and because I didn’t have the money or time to pursue a patent, I just forgot about it and moved on to other things.
Well, here we are three years later, and no less than Apple Computers itself has just filed a patent for EXACTLY such a device. I can’t say I’m surprised, as it is a great idea, but I am definitely disapointed.
Apple looking to patent iPhone-ready glove?
Friday, January 2nd, 2009
Apple looking to patent iPhone-friendly glove?
Apple may be exploring the idea of gloves more friendly to touchscreens, an application published by the US Patent and Trademark Office reveals. A problem common to iPhone and iPod users in colder areas, such as Canada and the northern US, is that they must wear gloves when going outside. Because Apple handhelds use capacitive touchscreens however, it may be difficult or impossible for the electrical signals from a person’s fingers to pass through glove fabric.
Apple’s proposed glove design would include inner and outer layers, the former covering the palm and at least one finger. The inner layer would also emulate properties of human skin, namely its electrical resistance. To control a touchscreen, holes in the outer layer would allow one or several fingers to protrude; to keep hands as warm as possible, the holes would be lined with elastic rings and/or some sort of cap, for when fingers are safely tucked back inside.
Oh well, at least I’ll know that I was the first person with a working “iMitten” three years ago… and to trust myself in future…