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Smart Gloves for Smart Phones

Swany's iFinger keeps the digits out of the deep freeze.

Remember when cell phones first came out?

I'd be on the lift and my main concern was scoping out a good fall line through the trees and where the good snow might be on the cruisers.

I had a phone, and I confess I pulled a few strings to get this Motorola from Verizon that had both digital and analog signals. Before that, the only signal I could get north of White River Junction, VT, was in the parking lot at the Stowe Mountain Inn.

But I kept the thing in my pocket. I was there to ski, not yap to someone down in the flatlands.

Not the show-off. He would have expensive clothing and the latest skis. And he had the phone and wanted everyone to know about it. The volume was turned way up and its tone was something between the wail of a tea kettle whistle and the creaking of fingernails skimming across a chalkboard.

I swear these guys would have their brokers call at a pre-planned time when they were on the lift.

"Hey, I'm skiing," he would say in a loud voice, "but go ahead because I assume this is important. Wait, I said BUY Consolidated Pork Rinds. Buy … buy … BUY. Buy as much as you can! It's the hottest mid-cap on the board! Besides, that movie 'Babe' is popular in the video stores these days so that means people are all thinking pig! Buy, I say … buy!"

Whatever.

The whole time I would be trying to position my poles to see if I could get his bindings to release with a little poke.

Boy, how the times have changed. Joe Stock Portfolio has been replaced by the masses. You kind of need a phone now. Your phone is a walkie-talkie, a telegraph pole, a watch, an alarm clock.

And, of course, it's now your camera.

But taking pictures in the cold is always challenging. It's about 3 degrees and the scenery is so good, but taking the gloves off to get a photo is just out of the question.

And video? You last about half-a-run before your fingers feel frozen solid.

Enter the iFinger gloves from Swany.

The iFingers are made of Swany's soft shell fabric and feature leather trim and touch screen compatible material on the thumb and index finger.

One can grab the phone and — push, slide, touch and click — take a picture easily and warmly.

The soft shell fabric is both tough and flexible.

Videos can be shot for an entire run while holding a phone.

The gloves are listed for $45 on the Swany Web site.

It's another smart, innovative and practical idea from the company that markets a glove made from recyclable materials.

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