Nanotips puts touch at your gloved fingertips

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Nanotips can make gloves of all materials touch-enabled for touchscreen devices.
Nanotips can make gloves of all materials touch-enabled for touchscreen devices.
Photo: Nanotips

When I moved to Minnesota, I was warned there would be some winter days when I don’t dare take off my gloves while outdoors. My warmest gloves, though, do not have touch-enabled fingertips, which is a problem when shooting photos or using my phone in the winter.

Instead of buying new gloves, I could try a solution called Nanotips. It is a conductive liquid polyamide solution you paint on the fingertips of any gloves and it is formulated to mimic the touch of human skin.

Soon after touchscreens became a standard feature on our devices, manufacturers began constructing gloves with conductive threads in one or more of the fingertips. Prices for these gloves can range from a few bucks to $30 and up.

But you may not want to shelve gloves you’re happy with for a set that has special fingertips that work with your phone.

The Vancouver company behind Nanotips tried more than 100 different formulas before they felt they hit the mark with something they could sell.

Nanotips will let you use your touchscreens in cold weather without having to remove your gloves.
Nanotips will let you use your touchscreens in cold weather without having to remove your gloves.
Photo: Nanotips

Nanotips Blue is a clear solution for fleece, wool and other fabric gloves. Nanotips Black has the color of tar and is for leather, rubber, Kevlar, neoprene or GORE-TEX glove. Both come in a battle and have an applicator that looks like nail polish.

A bottle costs $20 and has enough solution for 20 to 30 fingertips. Just brush it on and dry it with a hairdryer. Both solutions form a conductive grid-like film on the surface of the material.

Reviews since its debut last year have been generally favorable (read one here), though one reviewer on a motorcycle website said it didn’t always work on bulkier riding gloves. The Nanotips website does show a video of a gloved motorcyclist successfully demonstrating the product working on a GoPro hero camera.

One drawback, which may not be a bid deal for some, is that the solution will wear off after a month or two and have to be reapplied.

You can purchase Nanotips on the company website or search for a nearby store here.