Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Hack of the Day: Making a Free Capacitive Stylus (or, how to use your phone and keep your hands warm)

With cold weather upon us, the fact that my G2's touch screen doesn't work through gloves has been bothersome. I'd had a few half baked ideas as to how to deal with this: (1) buy a pair of photographer's gloves that allow finger tips easy access or use (2) nose dialing (crazy, but just crazy enough to work maybe?).

Today, I learned that a real solution to this problem exists: the capacitive stylus. These appear to be like the old school stylus of the Palm days, yet with some sort of magic that makes them work on touch screen's like the G2 and iPhone.

$13.00 was a bit more than I wanted to spend on an item which I may not get much use out of - so I figured I'd google around and see if there's was a cheaper option out there.

And there is. How about Free: pocketnow.com: How to make a free capacitive stylus. The bottom line is that an anti-static bag, when rubbed against the screen, will work as though your finger was touching it. By rolling up the anti-static bag and taping it you've got an instant stylus.

I tried it with a bag I had lying around and sure enough it worked. Tomorrow I hope to get out my x-acto knife and some tape and see if I can actually make something that's a compact and workable stylus.

(Full disclosure: Pocketnow.com is a client of mine. But, I'm not plugging this link because of this. I simply googled for capacitive stylus and they were the first link in the non-paid results)


  1. I'll have to give it a try. I ended up buying a pair of 180 CRG gloves with 'TechTouch' which allow you to use the touchscreen without removing your gloves. they have these funny little tips on the index fingers and thumbs.

  2. Hey Nick - that's a great lead on the gloves.

    I had no idea there were so many solutions out there to this problem. Glad I didn't have to resort to nose dialing :-).