Talk to the Hand: Hi-Call Phone Gloves Keep Your Fingers Warm, Connected, and Out There

Hi-Call Phone Gloves feature a speaker in the thumb and a microphone in the pinky, allowing you to talk directly into your hand and connect with any Bluetooth-enabled phone. They might not be the must-have accessory for this season’s winter adventures, but they certainly are amusing. And who knows, they could very well be a harbinger of what’s to come in the future of outdoor clothing.

Made by Hi-Fun, a small European company that produces a line of “Italian fashion gadgets for iPhones, iPods, iPads, and digital readers,” Hi-Call Phone Gloves will connect with any mobile phone with Bluetooth technology and has a claimed range of 12 meters. A small control panel for answering or ignoring calls is stitched into the wrist.

Interestingly, only the left glove has the mike and speaker in it, which is a bit odd since most people I see (including myself) tend to place their phone on the right ear. A rechargeable battery is incorporated into the glove and has a purported battery life of 20 days on standby or 20 hours of conversation. A mini-USB port allows you to recharge them once you’ve talked your fingers off.

And don’t worry, you can still operate your touch-screen phone with the gloves on. Like other touch screen-compatible gloves, they feature conducting materials in the tips of the thumb and index finger. Though currently only in prototype stage, the gloves are expected to retail someday soon for €49.99 (about $65 at current exchange rates). Available in gray and black, in both men's and women's versions.

While these gloves might not exactly be “perfect for any sport, from running to skiing” as the web site claims, they are yet another example of increasingly wired outdoor clothing and other accessories. As I’ve profiled in past articles and post, we’re already seeing battery-heated clothing and footwear, GPS-enabled ski goggles with heads-up displays, and sunglasses with built-in video cameras. I’d be surprised if we don’t see similar technology popping up in ski clothing (mike in your jacket collar, speaker in your winter hat?) and other outdoor high-end genres of outdoor gear.

“Equipped” is an AMC Outdoors blog, written by Matt Heid.

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