Tag Archives: touchscreen

Why can’t all gloves use touchscreens?

With the growing use of touchscreens on motorcycle instruments, GPS units and, of course, phones, why aren’t all motorcycle gloves touchscreen-sensitive?

Ok, you shouldn’t be using your touchscreens while riding, but we know many will, simply because they can!

TouchscreensTomTom Rider 550 GPS

So, how do they work?

Touchscreens function by emitting a tiny electrical charge between the finger and screen which completes a circuit and drops the voltage at that point on the screen.

That activates the function.

So what is the best touchscreen-sensitive solution?


Touchscreen gloves Farkle FingersFarkle Fingers “finger puppets”

We’ve tested several touchscreen-sensitive gloves and found they are all very hit and miss.

Thinner summer gloves work best while the thicker the glove, the less chance of being effective.

This is especially evident with fine points on the screen and precise manoeuvres such as “pinching” to zoom in or out.

We’ve also tried touchscreen-sensitive patches and attachments that are also less effective with thicker gloves.

GloveTacts touchscreens padsGloveTacts touchscreen pads

The most effective touchscreen-sensitive gloves we’ve tried are textile thinsulate-lined winter gloves from Mujjo.

Unfortunately, they aren’t motorcycle gloves as they have no abrasion or impact protection, although they do make leather versions which would have reasonable abrasion protection.

 Mujjo leather touchscreen-sensitive glovestouchscreensMujjo leather touchscreen-sensitive gloves

And managing director Remy Nagelmaeker says they have no plans “at the moment” to make them more compatible with riding.

“Since our products are made for minimalistic yet efficient design for regular everyday use, adding extra features necessary for riding could hinder their look and feel for the general audience,” Remy says.

And that seems to be the major problem.

The “extra features” such as abrasion-resistant material and armour seem to be hindering the sensitivity.


Indian Roadmaster ClassicIndian Roadmaster Classic instruments have excellent sensitivity

However, some motorcycle instruments and GPS units have screens that are touch-sensitive to gloves, even without the tech in the finger tips that makes them sensitive.

But in testing, we have also found these to have erratic functionality and lack the fine detail to perform many functions.

In fact, because touchscreen-sensitive gloves and screens are so hit and miss, they can be a dangerous distraction as it can take longer to get them to work.

Meanwhile, your eyes are off the road for longer …

Again, we suggest leaving the screen alone until you pull over.

Then, it’s more convenient to have gloves or a screen that works with gloves, rather than having to remove your gloves first.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

GloveTacts touchscreen contacts updated

GloveTacts have improved their touchscreen-sensitive stick-on pads so they are now the most effective way to use touchscreens (smartphones, GPS units, smart watches, instruments and MP3 players) without removing your gloves.

Many motorcycle gloves now come with touchscreen-sensitive fingertips, but we have come across few that actually work very well.

GloveTacts are thin black stickers that stick to your glove’s index finger or thumb since many people use their thumbs for texting.

Obviously we don’t condone texting while riding, but these touchscreen pads are great for using your phone when stopped without having to take off your gloves.

Handy if you just want to quickly stop and take a photo of the view or reply to an urgent work text: “2 sic 2 come 2 work“.

You could also use them on the run for various simple tasks, but we don’t recommend it.

GloveTacts testedGloveTacts touchscreen pads

We tried the original GloveTacts version in June 2016 and were not overly impressed.

They were claimed to stick to “almost any glove”, old or new, so long as they are cleaned first.

However, I found they pulled off my index finger with clutch use, so I switched to the thumb.

Then, after just a few short uses, they simply stopped working.

I contacted the company for comment and they didn’t reply until late last year telling me they had upgraded them.

A couple of weeks ago a couple of new sets of GloveTacts arrived in the post.

Each includes two short stickers for summer gloves and two long ones for thick winter gloves or if the short ones don’t work.

GloveTacts touchscreen pads

We didn’t have any problems with any of the short ones on several pairs of gloves.

So we simply split the long ones in the middle where the cut marks are.

Unlike the supplied photo at the top of this page, we positioned them over the end of the fingertip as below which works better, especially for more precise duties such as typing a text.

GloveTacts touchscreen pads

A pack of two GloveTacts used to cost $US10 (about $A14.50) plus postage; now you get four for the same price. Or six short ones! You can order them online here.

They work very effectively in either wet or dry conditions and have not failed us yet.

How the work

They used to be made of AX Suede Connect, but now they don’t specify. They just say they use a material that mimics how the skin interacts with touchscreen electronics.

Touchscreen sensors detect a tiny electrical charge transferred to the finger which completes a circuit and drops the voltage at that point on the screen, activating the button’s function.

While your finger will conduct electricity, most glove materials won’t.

We also tried Farkle Fingers which are like little glove puppets that annoyingly got caught up in the glove Velcro fasteners and would come off.

A pack of four costs $US20 and you can swap them from your winter to summer gloves with the change of seasons.

However, they were not as sensitive as the GloveTacts which never failed.


If you want to do it yourself, you could buy some conductive thread and sew a few stitches on to the finger tips, but it is not always very effective or accurate.

You could also try Any Glove or Nanotips which are a black liquid that you paint on to the fingertips.

It takes a long time to dry, but once it’s on, it is claimed to be waterproof and will not wash off.

Even the USArmy uses Any Glove on their combat gloves, so it must be tough.

However, it will wear off in a few weeks and need reapplying.

A bottle of AnyGlove costs $US20 and $15 for Nantips which is contains enough for about 30 applications.

The accuracy of any of these products will never be as good as your finger because a glove is fatter than your fingertip and the touchscreen may get confused about what button you are touching.

While some touchscreen functions can be quickly and safely performed while riding, we advise that anything complex such as texting be done when you stop. At least now, you won’t have to remove your gloves first which is great for convenience and in cold weather!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Honda patents head-up touch windscreen

Honda continues its blitzkrieg of patent applications with a head-display windscreen that is also touch sensitive.

The patent illustrations show both an Africa Twin and CBR1000RR Fireblade.

Head-up display of vital information such as speed and navigation has been in cars for several years and is now coming to many “smart” motorcycle helmets.

This is the first time a motorcycle company has considered it for their windscreens.

It features a projector that displays information on the windscreen.

For those who think this is a distraction, it isn’t. It works just fine in cars where you sit behind the windscreen and look through the information which is directly in line with where you view the road ahead.

Honda patents head-up touch windscreen
Africa Twin with head-up display touch screen

It would be fine on bikes with large screens such as Honda’s Africa Twin and their touring Goldwing.

However, on a Fireblade with a short screen, you would often be sitting up and not looking through the screen. We are not sure how it would work there, although it does seem to have a projector on the tank. Perhaps that is for the touch function.

Africa Twin with head-up display touch screen
Fireblade with tank-mounted projector

Touch screen

The touch technology in the windscreen also seems a bit strange on a motorcycle.

On most bikes, it’s a bit of a reach to the screen and it’s also quite a distraction to have to take one hand off the bars and reach that far forward.

Yet they have patented for a capacitive touchscreen layer in the windscreen.

Honda patents

honda patent drum brakes variable riding position emotions
Honda patent for variable riding position

This is one of many patents Honda has lodged in the past year and we are not sure how many of these they will put into production.

This new patent join the following from Honda over the past year:

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com