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Humans are able to detect incredibly fine bumbs on surfaces. This is due to the grooves in the skin of the fingertip creating vibrations that get picked up by sensory cells in the skin. Gloves usually dull this experience by damping the vibration, or by being so smooth as to not vibrate at all. The pattern
of grooves on a finger is good for a range of bump-sizes, is omniderectional, and individual.
I propose thin gloves that have grooves in defined directions, of defined spacing and thickness and made of a material that does not dampen the vibrations at the important frequencies (~300Hz). This way, surface quality could be checked and judged in absolute terms by brushing lightly over it. (Currently one mechanic could not communicate to another what kind of surface it is without resorting to machines). Fingers are colored according to grooving.
With the gloves comes a little board to calibrate your perception/stroking velocity.
||For the past month or so I've been wearing gloves on my
way in and out of work - the part of my day when I'm on
pubic transport, basically. I don't know why everyone else
isn't also doing it. After all, it's only level 5 of an Influenza
A (h1n1) pandemic, so I suppose there's no real need to
develop precautionary habits until the second and far
more lethal wave hits the population later in the year. As a
result, I've found that I've developed the precision and
sensitivity to not only turn my iPod touch on to play after
only about fifty strokes and presses, but also to be able to
take out my Oystercard holder from my jeans pocket with
my gloves still on (oystercard doesn't tap the yellow thing
now - it gets hovered over it instead).
||I envisioned something along the lines of latex gloves, maybe with another material for the fingertips specifically. It was intended as a tool, not as an add-on to existing keep-warm gloves (Although there is no reason why the gloves should not be padded more heavily on every surface that is not the fingertips)
||Gloves with a textured surface give an impression of the workability - for instance with micro-weave textile on the outer shell, some materials feel very rough, because the pattern of the weave interacts with the roughness of the touched surface in a specific way - the idea here is to design the grooving for the particular use of making the perception more communicatable by adding a degree of standardization.
||[Ian] - are you wearing gloves now? - anybody could be using the Halfbakery.