Touchscreen-friendly gloves are becoming more common in the motorcycle retail market. The problem is that most of those gloves have an entire fingertip encased with touchscreen material. Trying to navigate a smartphone or GPS with that mass of material can be like trying to play piano with your elbows—more than a little clumsy. With this in mind, Olympia has designed a glove with small, slightly elevated touchscreen dots on the thumb and forefinger. The theory is obvious. A focused screen contact point makes for more precise navigation of any touchscreen.
The gloves to which those little dots are attached are of a lightweight, summer design. The Olympia 730 features a leather palm and fingers and a mesh back. There is also a gel pad in the palm. Poorly designed gel padding can prove to be a detriment to “feel” in some gloves. But the segmented pad in the Olympia 730 model is thin enough to not get in the way and does seem to reduce vibration.
The internal seams in the gloves are of a low enough profile that they are not intrusive and the overall fit and feel of the gloves is excellent. The aesthetic cues of the gloves are refreshingly subtle, with an all black motif and reflective piping. My only gripe with the design is that the mesh material on the back of the gloves tends to fray a bit when it comes in contact with the hook-and-loop wrist closure.
Now back to those little dots. Simply put—they work. Sitting at a stop, touchscreen navigation is reliable and precise with the 730s. Those little pads are slightly elevated, but they do not get in the way of clutch, brake and other control operation. It remains to be seen if the touchscreen points hold up to many miles of riding. However, they are sewn in rather than glued, which is a good sign.
In short, the Olympia 730 Touch Screen gloves are a simple, effective and affordable solution to a very modern problem. They retail for $35.
For more information, call (916) 852-7029 or visit shop.olympiagloves.com.