"Hey, can you hold the line for a second? I'm getting another call on my index finger."
Accessories that allow you to take phone calls without removing your cell phone from your pocket or purse are nothing new, but a fresh idea from Italian company Hi-Fun might be the most creative one yet: It's a Bluetooth-enabled glove called the Hi-Call, which pairs with your mobile device and allows you to speak to your friend by holding your hand up to your face using the traditional miming signal for a telephone. The top of the glove houses buttons that answer a call or end it; the speaker is on the thumb, the mouthpiece is on the pinky, and on a cold winter day, your phone can literally always be at hand.
Our friends at Engadget (like The Huffington Post, owned by AOL) tried out the glove phone at the recent IFA tech convention in Berlin and put together a little video which is disappointingly not soundtracked by The Smiths' "Hand In Glove":
In writing about these Bluetooth-enabled gloves, Andrew Lizsewski of Gizmodo raised an important question: What makes you look more like an unhinged crazy person -- walking down the street while talking into a Bluetooth earpiece, or walking down the street while talking into your fingers? At first, you might reflexively answer that the person talking to himself, wildly gesticulating his hands, seemingly shouting at an invisible conversation partner appears crazier. But then remember that Bluetooth earpieces have been around for years now, and that when you see someone blabbing away to no one in particular, the first thing you do is look for an earpiece. If you saw someone speaking enthusiastically and without interruption into his hand, thumb and pinky finger extended, you would probably be totally flummoxed. And, too, there doesn't seem to be a quick way to determine from a distance whether or not a given winter glove is Bluetooth-enabled, while with earpieces, you can just look into said person's ear.
It is a debate that -- if Bluetooth gloves like the Hi-Call catch on -- could very well define the next decade of how people appear unbalanced in public. The Hi-Fun will go on sale in Europe in October for €49 ($61.63 here in the U.S.) Stateside, you'll be able to order from the Hi-Fun website.