Apple has filed for a patent (number 10,963,095) for “glove touch detection” that hints at future iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, Mac touchpads, even Apple TV remotes that respond to a user’s touch — even if the user is wearing gloves.
I suspect this doesn’t entail using Touch ID with gloves on. But it could still be a useful improvement since current devices require the touch of a bare finger or the wearing of special gloves made for touch input devices
In the patent filing, Apple notes that a user may be wearing gloves while operating an electronic device with a touch screen. The electronic device may not be able to detect a gloved finger touching the touch screen because the touch signal generated in response to the touching gloved finger may not reach the tuned touch detection threshold of the electronic device. Apple wants to change this.
Here’s the summary of the patent filing: “An electronic device including a touch screen or touch sensor panel can operate in a bare finger touch detection mode or a glove touch detection mode. While operating in the bare finger touch detection mode, in response to detecting a signal density slope corresponding to a gloved object touching the panel and lifting off without re-approaching the panel within a predetermined time or in response to detecting a signal density slope corresponding to a gloved object touching the panel continuously for a predetermined period of time, the electronic device can transition from the bare finger mode to the glove touch mode, for example. While in the glove touch detection mode, the electronic device can transition to the bare finger touch detection mode in response to detecting a touch signal density that exceeds a predetermined threshold or in response to detecting a touch signal that exceeds a predetermined threshold.