Tech Spec: Winter Techwear

It is COLD outside. So cold that many ASU students are bundling up as much as they can when they head out to class. Staying warm is priority number one nowadays, but everyone still wants to continue their fast paced life of talking on the phone, sending emails, listening to music and more; it is this season’s conundrum. Luckily, apparel designers have come up with solutions so we can have the best of both worlds. Some of these new advancements include earmuffs and beanies that have headphones built in and gloves that are touchscreen capable.

One of the biggest pains about putting winter hat-wear on is also keeping your headphones or ear buds in, but when you make your way to stores like Kohls or Amazon, you can find that there are simpler solutions available. The trend started with beanies; a normal beanie would be made, but it would have slots by the ears to hold the pair of headphones that come with it. This simple innovation cuts out the problem of perfectly adjusting your ear buds to stay in while your hat moves around on your head. With the advent of headphone beanies came the female solution to the issue: headphone earmuffs. While the designs on these (and the beanies) vary, they commonly just build a pair of over-the-ear headphones that double as earmuffs. It lets the woman keep her style while she rocks out.

Gloves with

Gloves with conductive wiring in the fingertips will keep you connected and toasty! Photo by Courtland Jeffrey

Once you find that perfect balance of keeping your ears warm while still enjoying your jams, you have to press play on your device. Usually that means taking off your warm gloves to get the touch response on your screen. But now, some pairs of gloves can stay on your hand and get the job done. These gloves have conductive wiring sewn throughout the fingertips, which allow for the user to illicit a reaction from their smartphone or iPod. I recently ordered a pair online for cheap and they make my bike rides a breeze.

One cool tip is if you are on a tight budget but want gloves that are compatible with touchscreens, you can convert a pair that you already own. There are many different ways to upgrade your gloves, from adding a layer of fabric to the fingertips to sewing conductive wire directly into the gloves.

If you are interested in investing in these products, my recommendation is to hit the web; prices vary from quality and brand, but I have seen all of these options available for under $10 (my gloves were $6). With touchscreen gloves and earmuffs with headphones built in, you can fight the cold while still enjoying your devices.

 

If you decide to do a DIY glove upgrade, let me know how it goes via email at cejeffre@asu.edu or on Twitter @Court_Jeffrey. Stay warm!