Inevitably, we all need to use our iPhones in the cold and our tiny little fingers hate the cold. Thankfully, technology entered the clothing world and taking off our gloves to use the phone is a thing of the past. Etre entered the scene after successfully establishing themselves as a web design company. Turning toward fashion, they promise “each piece is lovingly crafted in the British Isles, using responsibly sourced, time-honoured British materials.” There are many implementations of the “connected” glove and some companies get it right, others do not. Today, we take a look at the Etre Fivepoint gloves, and thankfully, these guys got it right….
There are many more ways to do something wrong than right. Before describing the Fivepoint, I wanted to pause to complain about how other glove companies try to enable their handware. My biggest pet peeve regarding capacitive touch gloves is the inclusion of an actual hardware piece. There are a few retailers that sell regular gloves and they come with a type of push-pin or button looking add on. To operate, one must place the button additions onto the glove by pinning it on the inside. Once the user touches the inside piece, it conducts electricity through the hardware.
More often, companies have a separate material section on the thumb and pointer finger, as seen above. The material is different from the rest of the glove and are almost always awkwardly designed to draw unnecessary attention to the “e-tips,” or whatever dumb name has been created and registered as a trademark. Moreover, I have seen other people with these types of gloves and the special tips are not sewn properly or adhered correctly, consequently causing them to peel off.
After a quick lesson on the wrong glove, let’s chat about the right glove. Etre Fivepoint gloves, for starters, are active on all five fingers across both hands. For the math challenged, that is ten total touch points for interacting with your devices. The inclusion of all fingers is especially helpful when using multitouch gestures on an iPad, or trackpad for that matter. Some companies solely worry about the right hand thumb and pointer finger, leaving lefties out in the cold and multitouch gestures in the dark.
The Fivepoint gloves boast capacitive thread, which is woven into each tip through the woolen fibers. As the thread is the conductor, there is no need for modified appliqués or button-like additions. While the tip thread is different from the rest of the glove, it is sewn directly into the existing glove base. This provides a continuous threaded material that has no seems at the connection point, further preventing the separation of the two pieces. It appears as one continuous threaded material, as seen below.
I have used the Fivepoint gloves for a while and in several different scenarios. As they are not extremely thick, they are not going to replace your big snow gloves, but do act as a nice base layer. Then, when accessing your iPhone, you can keep your hands warm by only removing the top layer. I did notice during an extremely frigid night, about 19F/-7C, the responsiveness decreased, but I assume it is due to my extremely cold finger tips producing too little electricity to make it through the threads. I had to resort to taking off the gloves to use the iPhone that night, but it was an extreme case.
Otherwise, I find no trouble using the gloves or placing accurate taps. It takes a little getting used to, but eventually you can adjust. As with any wool gloves, there is a seam on the very tip of each finger, which sometimes gets in the way. Most importantly, make sure that you get the correct size and, if in doubt, get the smaller size. It is imperative your fingers completely fill the glove tips to ensure an accurate capacitive response.
Overall, I am a big fan of the Etre Fivepoint gloves. Sewn from a nice wool, the gloves have a high-end feel. As they are 100% wool, they do fuzz up a bit during normal use, but that is standard across the woolen glove family. If you are looking for a capacitive glove with a bit of class and style, these are the gloves for you. As they are located in England, you will have to shell out 30£/$46 (only $39 on Amazon) and we thank Etre for sending out a pair for review. Head over to the shop to find your own pair in Blue/Pear, Black/Charcoal, Victoria/Pearl, Blue Fairisle/Pearl, Sage/Charcoal, or Camel/Charcoal.