The phrase "Italian gloves" may bring to mind images of fine leather expertly tailored, not a knitted glove that someone can talk to. But that's the appeal of hi-Call, a pair of gloves with a fully functioning Bluetooth-enabled headset in the left hand.
Hi-Call makes use of the international symbol for "I'm on the phone" by incorporating a speaker into the thumb that users hold up to their ears and a microphone in the pinky by the mouth. Fabric-covered buttons for Answer and End Call are sewn into the wrist.
Just as interesting as the crazy design is that they are flying off the shelves — at $60 a pair. "Someone on the website ordered four of them — I was like 'What are you doing with four of these?'" said Jazmin Hupp, director of marketing at Tekserve, a popular Manhattan Apple reseller that she says is the exclusive U.S. seller. "We brought them in as a joke, and they have been really selling," said Hupp. She estimates that Tekserve has already sold dozens of pairs of the gloves. "It will be hundreds before the holiday is over," she added.
While they may look silly, the gloves, from Italian manufacturer hi-Fun, sport good technical specs. According to the manufacturer, the lithium-ion battery (charged by USB) holds a charge for 10 days of standby and 20 hours of conversation — a long time to look like one is talking to themselves. The Bluetooth connection has a range of about 12 meters. "They are definitely warm," Hupp added.
The gloves come in black and gray and "man" and "woman" sizes. They are available for sale on Tekserve's website.
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