Touch the beat: Wearable music control at your fingertips

A new design using Bluetooth technology allows its wearers to control their music apps simply by tapping their fingers together.

The product, GoGlove, is a thin glove liner that was originally conceived for skiers and snowboarders, enabling them to change their music while in motion on the slopes. However, the glove can be used in any workout or activity where holding a phone to control music would be difficult, such as running, biking or skating.

Tiny sensors in the fingertips and thumb can play a song, pause it, change it and increase or decrease volume. Eric Ely and Ben Harris, cousins and creators of the GoGlove, have named these fingertip sensors “airtap technology,” powered by a battery that can last up to six months with daily use.

The glove can control your music library on iOS or Android, and is also able to work with third party apps such as Pandora and Spotify.

According to GoGlove’s newly launched Kickstarter campaign, the stretch goals for the design will help the team to create an app that lets users customize the glove, activating Siri or changing music with whichever finger you prefer.

Harris and Ely plan to release an API for the GoGlove that is open for public use, so that other app developers can also implement the GoGlove into their apps.

In this way, runners and other athletes could use the glove to control their exercise apps and hear their mileage and calorie burn reported to them with a tap of their fingers.

Another stretch goal will fund the development of the GoBand, a wristband that uses the same wireless technology to control music in warmer weather, when the use of a glove would be uncomfortable.


Interest in wearable technology has skyrocketed in the past few years, with the development of everything from jewellery that gives you phone notifications to hoodies that send text messages. The GoGlove brings another aspect to the field of wearables as a way to simplify control over your music on-the-go.

These wearables and their various uses are helpful and exciting, but as more and more hit the consumer market, the true feat will be integrating all of their capabilities into a single item. Perhaps one day there will be a wearable that eliminates the need to have different products for wireless music control, phone notifications, text sending and the many other functions that are available.

Though that day has not yet arrived, GoGlove presents a new way to think about phone-free music control and another possible form for the integration of many more functions.

Images and video courtesy of GoGlove’s Kickstarter page.

The technologist in all of us: How education is being shaped by the future of jobs

The job demands of the future are going to require us all to be technologists, meaning education needs to become more practical, flexible and challenging, according to UK think tank New Engineering Foundation (NEF).

In a report released on Wednesday entitled ‘Inventing the Future’, the organisation highlighted a need for “urgent transformation” to tackle the increasing presence of technology in almost every job.

In an interview with Factor, report lead author and NEF founder and CEO Professor Sa’ad Medhat explained the importance of technology.

“We are really strongly and seriously advocating that every one of us is going to be, in the future, a technologist,” he said.


Medhat explained how technology would have an impact on every field, and that being able to adapt and change to new developments was essential to future work success.

“The technologist is a generic occupation that it brings that traversability, that intraoperability, that ability to embrace different contexts and different situations and tackle different situations,” he said.

He said that this would have a key impact on what students need to learn before entering the workforce, explaining how what university-level students learn now is what students aged 17-18 will need to learn in the future.

“You wouldn’t appoint anybody today unless they have the full digital knowledge of using all the associated office automation and beyond, and a bit of social media, and a bit of coding,” he said.

“This is expected; it’s the norm. It’s no longer nice to have. So the whole thing would be compressed even further.”


To tackle this, Medhat and the NEF are proposing significant changes to the UK’s education system, with the reintroduction of polytechnic institutions.

The original polytechnics were mostly established in the 1960s, and were to technical, professional and practical occupations what universities are to academia. However, these institutions have since been converted into universities, leading many to move away from practical, hands-on subjects.

These new polytechnics would be regional, and offer courses based on the current skills needs in those areas. Curriculums would be ever evolving according to current technology and trends, and would provide flexible training tailored to each student.

In order to fund these institutions, Medhat has proposed that they be largely crowd sourced, with businesses funding courses that they needed people to be trained in.

“Using the concept of the Indiegogo and the Kickstarter philosophy if you like, the LEP [local enterprise partnership, the UK’s regional partnerships between business and government] will provide the baseline, so if you need a facility in advanced manufacturing, or a biotech facility, and it will cost a few million pounds, let’s say the LEP will put the baseline funding of £1m and say ok, if you want these skills here, you can be part of that funding mechanism, you can influence that programme development and you are part and parcel of this,” explained Medhat.

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