Did you see our list of cold-weather accessories infused with tech? There were a few touchscreen-friendly conductive gloves on that list. But in the future, you might not even need special gloves to play Angry Birds: Hitachi has developed a compact touchscreen panel that recognizes insulators like plastic and cloth.
You may have already noticed, but winter gloves tend get in the way of your morning iPhone Twitter routine. That's because your smartphone has a capacitive touch screen (instead of a pressure sensitive one, like some GPS navigators) that responds only to the conductive surface of your fingertips.
But a report by the Nikkei Business Publications says that researchers from Japan's Hitachi Displays have spent time developing a new kind of touchscreen—one that's smart enough to recognize when you're wearing gloves.
In addition to cloth gloves, the Hitachi conductive touchscreen allows you to use other previously forbidden styluses such as your fingernails or a plastic pen.
Mac-centric blog Patently Apple seems to think that that last bit is really important, as Apple Inc. has recently been granted a patent for a plastic light pen. Does this mean glove-friendly touchscreens are on their way to the 5th gen iPhone? I guess we'll have to wait and see.