Sony Xperia Sola owners will get a new treat when they download Glove Mode: the Ice Cream Sandwich update that should be winging its way to the phone any moment now.
The Sola will be enable owners to use the phone with their gloves still on rather than having to go bare-handed in the cold if they want to use their smartphone. It's riding hot on the heels of the Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone device, due out in November, which also lets people use the phone wearing gloves,
It's a well known fact that touchcreens and gloves go as well together as jelly and gravy - either proving incompatible or just downright useless with wrong key presses all too commonplace. To combat this we've seen a number of "smart gloves", but they aren't really that trendy.
The ICS update for the Sony Xperia sola, available from today, brings Glove Mode to proceedings, a feature that builds on the existing Floating touch technology found in the handset. Previously this technology simply meant that you could navigate the touchscreen by hovering your finger just above the touchscreen, without actually having to touch it.
Now users will be able to use the touchscreen while wearing their own gloves. That’s right - there’s no need to buy a new pair, fitted with high-tec sensors or interwoven silver. Glove Mode works with any kind of hand wear, even boxing gloves (according to the video).
The new Glove Mode will automatically turn on when the Sony Xperia Sola is unlocked while wearing gloves. A virtual cursor ring will also appear on screen to help identify those correct key presses.
The Sola is the only Xperia smartphone in the range that uses the Floating screen tech, so don't expect it to be coming to your Sony phone too. Bummer.