Sure is getting cold here. Soon I’ll be wearing gloves to keep warm, and that’s where my troubles will begin as people call me up on my iPhone – my touch-sensitive smartphone doesn’t respond well to a gloved hand. (I’d use mittens but I think they look passe). What’s to do? Looks like helps on the way, because Japan’s Hitachi Displays has developed a projection-type touch panel capable of detecting insulators such as plastic and cloth.

Patently Apple informs us that this means next-gen iPhones may let you control them with a gloved hand touch. Better in the cold.

“The new touch panel is still a projection design, but could be operated even while wearing gloves. Users could select icons with the tip of a fingernail, input handwriting with a plastic pen, and enjoy a wide range of other input methods. In short, it overcomes the disadvantages that the technology had suffered from in comparison to resistive films, making possible multi-touch operation with both insulators and fingers.”

There’s no guarantee, of course, that these displays will be used in the iPhone, but given Apple’s focus on delivering cutting-edge products, it is possible.