a fancy term for gadgets built into clothing or
accessories you wear like a smartwatch or fitness
monitor or even a Bluetooth headset.
never thought about gloves being connected, but as
technology evolves, new opportunities are conceived.
resident Tarik Rodgers and his cousin Willie Blount
started Blue Infusion Technology, maker of BearTek
Gloves, which are connected gloves with a Bluetooth or
Wi-Fi module that can control music and phone calls on
your smartphone or start and stop recording on a GoPro
may remember these guys from a recent appearance on
"Shark Tank." Alas, they did not get funding
from the show’s sharks, but they’ve taken to
Kickstarter and Indegogo to get customer backing, and
they’ve surpassed their funding goal.
first generation BearTek gloves is aimed at outdoor
adventure enthusiasts, such as motorcycle riders, skiers
gloves have small sensors to activate different
commands. The sensors are activated by tapping your
thumb to various touchpads embedded along the sides of
the glove fingers.
your thumb to a touchpad on the side of your index
finger will answer or hang up the phone or start and
stop the music.
on your middle finger will skip to the next song or go
back in your playlist, and volume up and down is
controlled by touchpads on your ring finger.
touchpad system works well and becomes intuitive after a
few minutes of practice. You can use the controls
without looking down at your hands; I have to believe
using the gloves is much safer than trying the same
commands on your phone.
thing you have to get used to is the gloves’ sleep
feature. The module goes to sleep 10 seconds after you’ve
used the glove’s touchpads — this is to keep you
from inadvertently sending commands.
have to press a power button on the thumb to wake the
glove each time you want to send a command. You touch
your index finger to the tip of your thumb to wake the
module, then touch your thumb to the appropriate finger
touchpad to send the command.
you wake the glove, you can send multiple commands as
long as your button presses are less than 10 seconds
easy to start the music, skip ahead and set the volume
all at the same time.
touch system works well, but I can’t say it worked
with 100 percent accuracy. I did have to repeat the
commands on occasion.
OF THE SYSTEM
BearTek gloves (like the ones I tested) have separate
modules for Bluetooth to connect to your phone or Wi-Fi
to connect with a GoPro camera.
come with one module, but the other is available
separately. You can only use one module at a time.
modules are small and have batteries that recharge via
module zips into a small pocket on the control glove,
and a small USB cable is included and zips into a pocket
on the other glove.
you buy your gloves, you can choose which hand is used
fully charged module will run for 80 hours.
has a second generation of gloves due out later this
gloves look the same and feature the same touchpads on
the fingers. The main difference is the module, which
will handle both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
module is controlled by an app on your smartphone. You
launch the app to configure the module and to switch
between Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. The app can also customize
the touchpad functions.
are also a few new features.
to BearTek, the second-generation gloves "will
include a liner option that can be used under other
gloves when users want BearTek functionality but still
want to slip on other gloves. The liner option will also
be appropriate as a cool weather glove for running and
other general purposes. BearTek is expanding their line
of high-quality glove designs for snow sports, motor
sports, hunting, equestrian and cycling activities as
well as in the workplace."
has also announced a developer kit, which will allow
third-party developers to make their apps or devices
able to be controlled by the gloves.
can find the gloves on Amazon or at Cabela’s stores,
but for the next few weeks, the best place to pick up a
pair of BearTek gloves is Indegogo.
has a crowdfunding campaign going on through mid-March.
now, Generation II gloves can be had for $99 per pair.
After the campaign ends, the price will be $225 per
you’d rather have the previous model, first-generation
gloves are $100.
website is www.beartekgloves.com, and its Indegogo
campaign can be found at http://bit.ly/217qr5i.
a decade ago I owned a motorcycle, and I’d
occasionally ride while listening to music. It would
have been much easier to ride while wearing BearTek
gloves. With my iPod in my pocket, I had a hard time
pausing the music while riding.
pair of BearTek gloves would make turning off the music
as easy as touching my fingers together.
Easy to set up and use. High-quality materials.
Sometimes had to press more than once to get my command
line: Easy phone or camera control with little
distraction. Works as advertised.