Picture the scene. You’re walking down an icy-cold thoroughfare, something akin to Hurricane Harry is swirling around you, then you feel that familiar buzz in your pocket. What do you do? Do you answer the call, and surrender your hands to frost bite? Or do you find a bus shelter to seek some respite from the elements? You could always get yourself some gloves too.
Yes, it may be a first-world dilemma, but it’s a dilemma nonetheless. A quick peruse around your local convenience store may reveal a slew of cheap, touchscreen-compatible gloves – and yes, they work great. But Netherlands-based company Mujjo is going all-out to cater for this market, with a range of premium (AKA ‘not cheap’) gloves geared towards the touchscreen-addled generation.
We’ve previously looked at Mujjo’s range of slick felt and leather cases for iPhones, iPads and Macs, though the company is traditionally better-known for its mobile-centric mitt-warmers. And with winter still strutting its stuff across the northern hemisphere, we thought we’d take a closer look at its latest offerings.
Leather Crochet Touchscreen Gloves
In the knitted realm, you have many options for touchscreen gloves. Indeed, the technology behind them is simple enough – conductive material is woven into the fibers to ensure your hand’s electrical signals have uninterrupted contact with the device. With leather, however, things aren’t quite so simple, hence your options have always been more limited on this front.
Often, leather gloves will have little ‘patches’ sewn onto the fingertips to ensure safe passage of these aforementioned electrical signals. But Mujjo is taking things to the next level with its leather crochet touchscreen gloves. The front of the glove is constructed of Egyptian cotton, while the leathery palm-side of the mitt is made from Ethiopian lambskin – with no ‘patches’ in sight. This in itself isn’t entirely unique, but it’s the combination of style and function here that’s notable.
Mujjo founder Remy Nagelmaeker says the company has integrated nanotechnology into the leather of the gloves to mimic the conductive properties of human skin. And based on our tests, they not only look good, but they work very well too.
The one caveat here is that, well, these puppies will cost you €89.95. So if you’re not one to spend such fortunes on a simple pair of gloves at the best of times, you probably wouldn’t do so here. But then, you’re probably not the target market – plenty of people pay through the nose for extravagance, and these won’t exactly break the bank for many.
Moreover, they do actually ooze quality. The cotton-leather combo works well, and the two-buttoned leather strap that crosses the wrist ensures the howling gales are kept out.
There’s no question these would make for a great gift for someone, but in attempting to be just like a regular pair of gloves, there are downsides. The perfect touchscreen glove would hug your fingers tightly and have minimal surface area – but those also tend to be much thinner, which isn’t the best for proper wintery conditions.
With these Mujjo’s gloves, I found the thickness and surface area meant that typing was often cumbersome (though not impossible), and led to mistakes.
However, there are many situations beyond typing where these would come in handy, so to speak, such as swiping to answer calls, scrolling maps and generally hitting icons and buttons on your screen. Only when pinpoint accuracy is required does it become problematic, and even then I found that predictive text managed to circumvent some of the issues.
Also, there’s the (small) issue of color. Yes, it won’t bother everyone, but the fact these are only available in black may deter some, especially when they’re stumping up so much cash.
If the best part of ninety bucks is a little bit too punchy for you, then Mujjo has also recently launched a cheaper knitted glove, aimed squarely at those in cooler climes.
Double-Layered Touchscreen Gloves
Costing €29.95, the double-layered touchscreen gloves pretty much do exactly what they say on the box. Mujjo developed these mitts in direct response to requests from customers in places such as Canada, Norway and Russia, and they essentially provide double the insulation of its other cheaper gloves.
This additional layer is made out of wool, and serves as extra insulation. The palm-side of the glove, however, features rubber-like dots which is a nice touch, if you’ll pardon the pun, given that this works well for gripping things, such as handlebars or a steering wheel. As with the leather crochet affairs, these sport a fastener across the wrist too, though only one button.
I actually found these to be better suited to typing than the other pair, and more often than not I was able to easily construct meaningful text messages at the first time of asking, presumably due to the fact these are more tightly aligned with my hands and take up less surface area. Though as with the leather pair, these only come in a single color.
If you’re in the market for a new pair of touchscreen-compatible gloves, either of these will serve you well, but it will depend on what you’re really after and what your budget is. The leather crochet incarnations instinctively feel more like the sort of thing you’d buy as a present for someone else, while the double-layered mitts would serve anyone who lives in a cold climate well.
On the other hand, if you’re not a fashionista and don’t live in sub-zero conditions, you could just spend five bucks on a pair from your local convenience store.
Published January 23, 2014 — 13:45 UTC