Smartphones are great; they organize our lives, provide us with news and information, and keep us in touch with friends no matter how far away they may be. Smartphone gloves on the other hand? Not so much. They don't do a great job of keeping your hands warm in the cold weather, and they aren't exactly renowned for their comfort.

Fortunately for Xperia sola users, Sony has you covered. The Ice Cream Sandwich update for the sola, which began today, includes a new feature called "glove mode" which, you guessed it, allows you to wear any pair of gloves and still use your smartphone.

Glove mode is actually an extension of Floating touch technology that has been present in the sola ever since it first shipped. The technology allows the phone to register the position of your finger up to 20mm away from the screen by combining self capacitance and mutual capacitance displays (for an in-depth explanation, check out Sony's developer blog).


Glove mode is enabled by default, so you can unlock the phone whilst wearing gloves without having to dive into any settings. To help you see where you're currently pointing to on the display, a cursor ring will appear around your finger. Sony's demo video makes it pretty clear that you can use any type of gloves with the phone, and this will undoubtedly come in handy for many users as we approach winter.

I can see this feature being a major selling point for the phone in colder countries, so hopefully it works as well as Sony claims. If you're wearing thin gloves, navigation won't be much of an issue, but boxing gloves might prove to be slightly more challenging.

Source: Sony Developer World

John Thompson
John's been addicted to technology ever since he tinkered with his first custom built PC when he was 10 years old. He's also the proud owner of seven Amazon Kindles, but only because he destroyed the first six.

  • http://digg.com/users/OmegaWolf Silver Fang

    I hope other phone makers will introduce this. Or is it a Sony patent?

    • http://twitter.com/FQdeB Felix

      Nokia Lumia 920 will have something similar.

      • Bala

        lumia 920 had this as a highlight... sony did the same via OTA lol

        • http://www.facebook.com/Shinakuma George Millhouse

          didnt read the article fully did you Bala?
          Glove mode is actually an extension of Floating touch technology that has been present in the sola ever since it first shipped.

          Try reading next time before you make an ass of yourself

          • Bala

            hmm, so what... its old and is already available but yet nokia made a big fuss out of it as if they invented it.

  • br_hermon

    Seriously, this is awesome!

  • http://visionaforethought.wordpress.com/ Oflife


  • Guest


  • Lord_Data

    I like this, I do, all the advantages of a conventional capacitive display plus the ability to use it with gloves. Let us not forget, however, that this isn't a new feature, but the return of an old one: tactile touch screens are in no way limited by gloves and never have been.

    • http://twitter.com/jheyneman James Heyneman

      But it is a new feature. Resistive screens didn't need this feature because of how resistivity works.

    • http://www.facebook.com/andresdroid Andres Schmois

      It's definitely new technology. And it is a new feature. Fast phones never had this capability, so it's new for the high-medium-spec phones. Also, using a resistive screen with gloves, is like rubbing two pieces of rubber together.

  • http://googleplus.VoluntaryMan.com/ William Thieme

    Someone should make a finger guard to keep fingerprints from occurring. Like a single finger glove.

    • lb

      just cut your gloves...?

      • http://googleplus.VoluntaryMan.com/ William Thieme

        It's comparatively a waste of money due to fabric waste.
        I wasn't seriously proposing the idea anyway as it would take some elasticity to stay on your finger and I wouldn't want to wear it.

    • Freak4Dell

      I'm gonna quit school and make smartphone condoms.

  • http://royblumenthal.com/portfolio royblumenthal

    Okay... I wanna be the one to use metal chainmail gloves on this baby.

    • Matthew Fry

      The problem with gloves (afaik) is they block the electrical current from reaching your finger. Chainmail would work fine on any capacitive screen I would imagine...

      • http://www.facebook.com/andresdroid Andres Schmois

        I doubt it, since the electrical current is so low, almost all metals will make the current dissipate before it reaches your finger.

        • http://www.facebook.com/adamparroyo Adam Arroyo

          Why would it need to reach your finger?

          The metal is conductive and poking any capacitive touch screen with a piece of metal will register as a 'touch'

  • http://www.facebook.com/andresdroid Andres Schmois

    The presentation was nice. Their choice of music? not so much.

  • http://www.flickr.com/stuffbox DuduMaroja

    im impressed, and i never had to use a glove in my life!

  • Homestarrunner

    "but boxing gloves might prove to be more challenging."

    Not if you're Strongbad.

  • niko

    I am unable to update my sony xperia sola mobile form 2.3.7 to ics 4.0.1 or any version which is available, I had tried from both the ways i.e form sony update centert an via sony pc companion, Build no that is in my device is 6.0.B.3.184, Kernel version , BuildUser@BuildHost #1, Baseband Version u8500-49020604-R1g_EC14, i contacted sony customer care but they are also answerless. Please help