Title:
Hand Covering With Tactility Features
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
This invention relates generally to a hand covering. More specifically, the present invention relates to a hand covering with tactility features. The tactility features of the hand covering enable the wearer of the hand covering to have improved dexterity and tactility while wearing the hand covering and performing various tasks.



Inventors:
Komlos, Jedd (Baltimore, MD, US)
Application Number:
11/748543
Publication Date:
11/20/2008
Filing Date:
05/15/2007
Assignee:
180s, Inc. (Baltimore, MD, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/159
International Classes:
A41D19/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
MORAN, KATHERINE M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
EDELL, SHAPIRO & FINNAN, LLC (Gaithersburg, MD, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A hand covering comprising: a shell assembly including a palm region, a cuff region, and a finger region, the finger region including a first finger receptacle and a second finger receptacle, each of the first and second finger receptacles including a palm side and a back side, the shell assembly also including a first shell portion and a second shell portion, the first shell portion including a material having a thickness, the second shell portion including its own material having thickness, the material thickness of the second shell portion being less than the material thickness of the first shell portion, the first shell portion including the palm region, and the second shell portion including the first finger receptacle; and a tactility component, the tactility component being coupled to the first finger receptacle, the tactility component being coupled to the palm side of the first finger receptacle in the area of the second shell portion, the tactility component being configured to facilitate the application of a concentrated force from a finger contained in the first finger receptacle to an object.

2. The hand covering of claim 1, wherein the second finger receptacle forms a part of the first shell portion.

3. The hand covering of claim 1, wherein the tactility component has one of a hemispherical, diamond, triangular, and arcuate shape.

4. The hand covering of claim 1, further comprising: a thumb receptacle, the thumb receptacle forming a third shell portion, the third shell portion including a material having a thickness, the material thickness of the third shell portion being different than the material thickness of the first shell portion.

5. The hand covering of claim 4, wherein the tactility component is a first tactility component, the hand covering further comprising: a second tactility component, the second tactility component being coupled to the thumb receptacle.

6. The hand covering of claim 1, wherein the shell assembly includes an outer shell, the outer shell including a plurality of finger receptacles, and an inner shell, the inner shell including a plurality of finger receptacles, the inner shell being configured to be inserted into the outer shell, each of the finger receptacles of the inner shell being inserted into a corresponding one of the finger receptacles of the outer shell.

7. The hand covering of claim 6, wherein one of the finger receptacles of the inner shell is terminated proximate to its base and defines an opening through which a wearer's finger can be inserted.

8. The hand covering of claim 7, wherein an end of the terminated finger receptacle of the inner shell is coupled to an inner surface of a corresponding finger receptacle of the outer shell.

9. The hand covering of claim 8, wherein a thickness of the first shell portion is defined by a thickness of the outer shell and a thickness of the inner shell, and a second shell portion is defined by a thickness of the outer shell.

10. The hand covering of claim 1, wherein a transition area is formed between the first shell portion and the second shell portion, and the transition area is in a stepped configuration.

11. The hand covering of claim 1, wherein the first shell portion and the second shell portion are integrally formed from a single layer of material, the layer of material having different thicknesses in the first shell portion and the second shell portion.

12. The hand covering of claim 11, wherein a transition area is formed between the first shell portion and the second shell portion, the transition area being gradually sloped between the first shell portion and the second shell portion, the transition area being formed by the inner surface of the first shell portion and the inner surface of the second shell portion.

13. The hand covering of claim 1, further comprising: a thumb receptacle, the thumb receptacle forming a third shell portion, the first shell portion, the second shell portion, and the third shell portion being integrally formed from a single layer of material, the layer of material having different thickness in the first shell portion as compared to the thickness in the second shell portion and as compared to the thickness in the third shell portion.

14. A hand covering comprising: a shell including a body portion having a plurality of finger receptacles and a thumb receptacle extending therefrom, the body portion including a first portion having a thickness and a second portion having its own thickness, the thickness of the first portion being less than the thickness of the second portion, the first portion including one of the plurality of finger receptacles; and a projection, the projection being coupled to the finger receptacle of the first portion of the shell proximate to the first portion, the projection being configured to be used by the wearer to engage an object.

15. The hand covering of claim 14, wherein the shell includes a first shell portion and a second shell portion being configured to be inserted into the first shell portion, the first shell portion includes a plurality of finger receptacles and a thumb receptacle, the second shell portion includes its own plurality of finger receptacles and its own thumb receptacle, each of the finger receptacles and the thumb receptacle of the second shell portion being configured to be inserted into a corresponding one of the finger receptacles and the thumb receptacle of the first shell portion.

16. The hand covering of claim 15, wherein one of the finger receptacles of the second shell portion is truncated and forms an end that defines an opening through which a finger can extend, the end forming a transition area between the first portion and the second portion of the shell.

17. The hand covering of claim 14, wherein the body portion includes a third portion having a thickness, the thickness of the third portion being less than the thickness of the second portion, the third portion being formed by the thumb receptacle.

18. The hand covering of claim 17, wherein the projection is a first projection, the hand covering further comprising: a second projection, the second projection being coupled to the thumb receptacle proximate to the third portion, the second projection being configured to be used by the wearer to engage an object.

19. A hand covering comprising: a shell, the shell including a palm portion, a finger receptacle coupled to the palm portion, and a thumb receptacle coupled to the palm portion, the palm portion having a thickness, the finger receptacle having a thickness, and the thumb receptacle having a thickness, the thickness of the finger receptacle being less than the thickness of the palm portion, the thickness of the thumb receptacle being less than the thickness of the palm portion; a first tactility component, the first tactility component being coupled to the finger receptacle; and a second tactility component, the second tactility component being coupled to the thumb receptacle, the first and second tactility components being configured to facilitate the application of pressure from the corresponding finger receptacle or thumb receptacle to an object.

20. The hand covering of claim 19, wherein the shell includes an inner shell portion and an outer shell portion being configured to receive the inner shell portion, the outer shell portion including a finger receptacle corresponding to the finger receptacle of the shell, the inner shell portion including a truncated finger receptacle defining an end and an opening through which a finger can extend, the thickness of the shell finger receptacle being defining by the portion of the outer shell portion finger receptacle beyond the end of the inner shell portion finger receptacle.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to a hand covering. More specifically, the present invention relates to a hand covering with tactility features. The tactility features of the hand covering enable the wearer of the hand covering to have improved dexterity and tactility while wearing the hand covering and performing various tasks.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A hand covering according to the present invention includes several finger receptacles and a thumb receptacle. The hand covering also includes at least one tactility component coupled thereto. In one embodiment, the tactility component can be coupled to one of the finger receptacles, such as the finger receptacle intended for use with an index finger. In another embodiment, the tactility component can be coupled to the thumb receptacle. In another embodiment, tactility components can be coupled to a finger receptacle and to the thumb receptacle.

Additionally, a hand covering according to the present invention can include a region of improved dexterity in the hand covering. The region of improved dexterity can be the result of a portion of the hand covering having a reduced thickness. In one embodiment, a finger receptacle of the hand covering can have a reduced thickness. In that implementation, the thickness of the material defining the finger receptacle can be less than the thickness of the material defining the rest of the shell of the hand covering. In another embodiment, a thumb receptacle of the hand covering can have a reduced thickness due to a thinner material defining the thumb receptacle than the remainder of the hand covering.

In one embodiment, a hand covering according to the present invention can include a thinner region defining a finger receptacle and/or a thumb receptacle and one or more tactility components coupled to a finger receptacle and/or a thumb receptacle, respectively. Different sizes and configurations of tactility components can be used.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a top view of an embodiment of a hand covering according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a bottom view of the hand covering illustrated in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3A is a side view of a portion of a finger receptacle of the hand covering illustrated in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3B is an end view of the portion of the finger receptacle illustrated in FIG. 3A.

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional side view of a portion of a finger receptacle of the hand covering illustrated in FIG. 2, taken along the line “4”-“4.”

FIG. 5 is an exploded view of an outer shell and an inner shell of an embodiment of a hand covering according to the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a bottom view of an alternative embodiment of a hand covering according to the present invention

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional side view of a portion of a finger receptacle of the hand covering illustrated in FIG. 6, taken along the line “7”-“7”.

FIG. 8 is a bottom view of an alternative embodiment of a hand covering according to the present invention.

FIG. 9 is a side view of a portion of a finger receptacle of the hand covering illustrated in FIG. 8.

FIGS. 10 and 11 are top and side views, respectively, of an alternative embodiment of a tactility component according to the present invention.

FIGS. 12 and 13 are top and side views, respectively, of an alternative embodiment of a tactility component according to the present invention.

FIGS. 14 and 15 are top and side views, respectively, of an alternative embodiment of a tactility component according to the present invention.

FIGS. 16 and 17 are top and side views, respectively, of an alternative embodiment of a tactility component according to the present invention.

FIGS. 18 and 19 are top and side views, respectively, of an alternative embodiment of a tactility component according to the present invention.

FIGS. 20 and 21 are top and side views, respectively, of an alternative embodiment of a tactility component according to the present invention.

FIG. 22 is a bottom view of an alternative embodiment of a hand covering according to the present invention

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

A hand covering according to the present invention includes several finger receptacles and a thumb receptacle. In one embodiment, the hand covering includes a tactility component coupled thereto. In another embodiment, a portion of the hand covering can have a reduced thickness as compared to other parts of the hand covering. The term “hand covering” is used to include any type of covering that can be worn on a person's hand, such as a glove or a mitten.

An embodiment of a hand covering according to the present invention is illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2. The hand covering 10 includes a shell or shell assembly that has a palm portion or region 12, a cuff portion or region or skirt 14, and a finger region 20. The hand covering 10 also includes a fleece inner cuff 16 that is coupled to the shell by stitching 18, which forms part of an elastic wrist portion. Cuff 16 and cuff skirt 14 collectively provide protection against external elements entering into the interior of the hand covering 10. The finger region 20 has several finger receptacles 22, 24, 26, and 28, and a thumb receptacle 30. The shell includes a back side 32 (see FIG. 1) and a palm side 34 (see FIG. 2). In this embodiment, the material used for hand covering 10 is a tight fitting material with some stretching functionality and characteristics that allow for improved dexterity.

In one embodiment, the hand covering 10 may have certain colors or stylized features. As shown in FIG. 1, rubber molded articles 36 and 38 can be included as part of the shell to create a desired appearance. The rubber molded articles 36 and 38 can be used to define different portions of the shell of the hand covering 10. In particular, articles 36 and 38 can create or define sections 35, 37, and 39 that can be formed of different materials. For example, one or more of the sections 35, 37, and 39 can be formed of an elastic type, stretch material. The wearer can feel or sense the different zones of materials of the hand covering 10.

As illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, the hand covering 10 includes tactility components 100 and 110. Tactility components 100 and 110 are coupled to the hand covering 10 and are disposed in locations where the user or wearer of the glove typically engages an object. For example, a person wearing a hand covering performs actions, such as pressing buttons, most often with his or her index finger and/or thumb. Tactility components 100 and 110 can be referred to as buttons or projections and can be molded articles made of rubber or plastic. Alternatively, tactility buttons 100 and 110 can be silicon gel articles molded into a particular shape or configuration. Depending on the material, the tactility components can be coupled or adhered to the hand covering using an adhesive, by bonding, or other types of connecting or coupled techniques. The tactility components 100 and 110 are configured to facilitate the application of a concentrated force from a finger contained in the finger receptacle or thumb receptacle to an object.

In this embodiment, tactility component 100 is coupled to the palm side of finger receptacle 22, which corresponds to the index finger of a user. Tactility component 100 is coupled to the finger receptacle 22 close to the distal tip 25 of the finger receptacle 22, in which case, the component 100 would be closer to the tip of the index finger as opposed to the flat portion of the index finger. Tactility component 110 is coupled to the thumb receptacle 30 and in particular, to the inside surface or edge of the thumb receptacle 30 (noting that tactility component 110 can be seen in the back side view illustrated in FIG. 1). As a wearer of the hand covering 10 brings the wearer's index finger and thumb toward each other, the tip of the index finger and an inside surface or edge of the thumb contact usually each other first. Accordingly, the locations of the tactility components 100 and 1 10 on finger receptacle 22 and thumb receptacle 30, respectively, are selected based on the typically contacts of the index finger and thumb with an object. Thus, in this embodiment, tactility component 110 is not located on the main flat portion of the thumb receptacle 30, but is offset to the inner side or edge. In alternative embodiments, the locations of the tactility components on the finger receptacle and the thumb receptacle can vary.

Referring to FIG. 3A, a side view of a portion of finger receptacle 22 is illustrated. As shown, finger receptacle 22 includes a palm side 34 to which tactility component 100 is coupled. In this embodiment, tactility component 100 is a molded article that has a rounded or curved configuration. Tactility component 100 has a bottom surface 102 and a rounded upper or contact surface 104. The contact surface 104 provides a small, targeted surface area that the wearer of the hand covering 10 can use to contact or press a button or other small object. The contact surface 104 results in a targeted area of pressure and force exerted by the wearer's finger.

Referring to FIG. 3B, an end view of a portion of finger receptacle 22 is illustrated. As shown, finger receptacle 22 has a “box like” construction with sections 23A, 23B, 23C, and 23D coupled together at seams. Some of the sections form gussets that allow for a tighter feel of the finger receptacle 22. In different embodiments, additional finger receptacles can be constructed in a manner similar to finger receptacle 22.

As shown in FIG. 2, hand covering 10 includes two tactility areas or regions 44 and 46 that are defined in part by transition areas 40 and 42, respectively. In this embodiment, finger receptacle 22 includes tactility region 44 that is defined by transition area 40 and the tip 25 of the finger receptacle 22. Similarly, thumb receptacle 30 includes tactility region 46 that is defined by transition area 42 and the distal tip 31 of the thumb receptacle 30. The tactility areas 44 and 46 can also be referred to as shell portions.

Each tactility region is defined by the particular region having a reduced thickness of material as compared to the rest of the hand covering 10, which can be referred to as the body 48. Transition area 40 defines where the thickness of the body or palm portion 12 changes to a thinner cross-section in the tactility region 44 of finger receptacle 22. Similarly, transition area 42 defines where the thinner cross-sectional material in the tactility region 46 of thumb receptacle 30 begins. In this embodiment, the other finger receptacles 24, 26, and 28 have the same thickness as the body 48 or palm portion of the hand covering 10. In one embodiment, the thickness of the material in region 44 may be the same as the thickness of the material in region 46, and both thicknesses are less than the thickness of the material in the body 48 of the hand covering 10. In another embodiment, the thickness of the material in region 46 can be different than the thickness of the material in region 44, and both of those thicknesses being smaller than the thickness of the body 48.

Several of the components of an embodiment of a hand covering 10 according to the present invention are illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5. Referring to FIG. 5, the hand covering 10 includes an outer or exterior shell 50 and an inner shell or liner 70. The outer shell or shell portion 50 includes finger receptacles 60, 62, 64, and 66, and a thumb receptacle 68. The inner shell or shell portion 70 includes finger receptacles 80, 82, 84, and 86, and a thumb receptacle 88. The outer shell 50 is slightly larger than inner shell 70 and is configured to receive the inner shell 70 therein. Each of the finger receptacles and thumb receptacle of the inner shell 70 is inserted into a corresponding finger receptacle or the thumb receptacle of the outer shell 50. In one embodiment, the inner shell 70 is a fleece liner.

As illustrated, finger receptacle 80, intended for a wearer's index finger, is cut or truncated close to the base 83 of the finger receptacle 80. The end 85 of finger receptacle 80 defines an opening 81, through which an index finger can extend. After it has been cut or terminated, the end 85 of finger receptacle 80 is finished to prevent unraveling or separation of the end 85. Similarly, thumb receptacle 88 is terminated close to the base 91 of the thumb receptacle 88. The end 92 of thumb receptacle 88 defines an opening 89, through which a thumb can extend. After it has been cut, the end 92 of finger receptacle 88 is finished to prevent unraveling or separation of the end 92.

Referring to FIG. 4, a cross-sectional view of a portion of finger receptacle 22 is illustrated. The view shown in FIG. 4 is taken along the line “4”-“4” in FIG. 2. The internal portion of finger receptacle 22 is shown. The outer shell 50 includes an inner surface 52 that defines an interior region 54 of the finger receptacle 22. In this embodiment, the outer shell 50 has a constant material thickness. The thickness of tactility region or shell portion 44 is defined by the thickness of the outer shell 50. The inner shell 70 includes an inner surface 72 that defines an interior region 74 of the finger receptacle 80 of the inner shell 70.

In this embodiment, the receptacle 80 of the inner shell 70 is coupled to the outer shell 50 by stitching 90 which extends around the circumference of the end 85 and opening 81 of receptacle 80. In other embodiments, the stitching can be separate spaced apart stitches or tackings. Alternatively, the end 85 of receptacle 80 can be coupled or bonded to the inner surface 52 using an adhesive material.

The location at which the end of the inner shell receptacle 80 is coupled to or fastened down to the outer shell receptacle 60 defines the location of transition area or region 40. The end 85 forms a stepped configuration at the transition area 40. In various embodiments, the length of inner shell receptacle 80 can vary, which will result in different lengths of the tactility region 44.

While only the tactility region 44 of finger receptacle 22 is described above in detail, the tactility region 46 of the thumb receptacle 30, as defined by receptacles 68 and 88 of the outer shell 50 and inner shell 70, respectively, is constructed in a similar manner. For example, the end 92 of inner shell receptacle 88 is coupled to thumb receptacle 68 using stitching or an adhesive proximate to opening 89. In this embodiment, the thickness of tactility region or shell portion 46 is defined by the thickness of receptacle 68 of the outer shell 50.

As previously described, the difference in thickness of the material creating the tactility regions 44 and 46 is achieved through the use of two shells or shell portions 50 and 70 and only having one of the shells with material in the tactility regions 44 and 46. In other embodiments, the material thickness difference can be achieved in a different manner as described below.

An alternative embodiment of a hand covering according to the present invention is illustrated FIGS. 6 and 7. In this embodiment, hand covering 200 includes a palm region 210, a finger region 220 including finger receptacles 222, 224, 226, and 228, and a thumb receptacle 230. Finger receptacle 222 and thumb receptacle 230 include tactility regions 274 and 276, respectively. Tactility region 274 is defined by a transition area 270 at one end and by the distal tip 232 of the finger receptacle 222 at the other end. Similarly, tactility region 276 is defined by a transition area 272 at one end and by the distal tip 240 of the thumb receptacle 230 at the other end. While not illustrated in FIG. 6, hand covering 200 may include one or more tactility components attached thereto.

Referring to FIG. 7, a cross-sectional view of finger receptacle 222 is illustrated. As shown, the hand covering 200 includes a first shell portion 250 that has a thickness and a second shell portion 260 that has a thickness less than that of the first shell portion 250. The first shell portion 250 includes an inner surface 252 that defines an interior region 254. Similarly, the second shell portion 260 includes an inner surface 262 that defines an interior region 264. The outer dimensions of the first shell portion 250 and the second shell portion 260 are the same. Accordingly, the difference in material thickness results in the interior region 254 of the first shell portion 250 being narrower than the interior region 264 of the second shell portion 260. The tactility and dexterity of the index finger in finger receptacle 222 is improved due to less material in the second shell portion 260. In this embodiment, the different shell portions with different thicknesses defined by the finger receptacle 222 and the body 244 of the hand covering 200 are integrally formed. Similarly, the different shell portions with different thicknesses defined by the thumb receptacle 230 and the body 244 of the hand covering 200 are integrally formed.

As shown in FIG. 7, the change in material thickness occurs at a transition area 270. The length of the transition area 270 can vary. In other words, the transition from the first shell portion 250 to the second shell portion 260 can be gradual and relatively smooth. Alternatively, it can be an abrupt step configuration, similar to the transition areas illustrated and described above with respect to hand covering 10.

The finger receptacle 222 includes a palm side 236, a back side 238 and a base 234. Similarly, thumb receptacle 230 includes a palm side, a back side, and a base 242.

An alternative embodiment of a hand covering according to the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 8. In this embodiment, hand covering 300 includes a palm region 310, a finger region 320, and a thumb receptacle 330. The finger region 320 includes finger receptacles 322, 324, 326, and 328. Additionally, raised rubber molded articles 312, 314, and 316 can be coupled to palm region 310 to provide additional friction and gripping surfaces for the wearer of the hand covering 300. In an alternative embodiment, molded articles 312, 314, and 316 can be replaced by silicon gel prints that are coupled or adhered to the palm of the hand covering 300.

Hand covering 300 includes a tactility component 350 on finger receptacle 322 and a tactility component 352 on thumb receptacle 330. The shape and configuration of tactility components 350 and 352 are different than those of tactility components 100 and 110. Additional alternative embodiments of tactility components are illustrated in FIGS. 10-21 and described below.

In this embodiment, hand covering 300 includes rectangular, elongate projections 360, 362, and 364 on finger receptacles 324, 326, and 328, respectively. The length of projections 360, 362, and 364 can vary. Referring to FIG. 9, a portion of finger receptacle 324 is illustrated. Projection 360 is coupled to the palm side 365 of the finger receptacle 324 and includes a bottom surface 366 and an upper or contact surface 368. In one embodiment, projections 360, 362, and 364 are raised rubber molded articles. In other embodiments, the projections can be formed of different materials.

An alternative embodiment of a tactility component according to the present invention is illustrated in FIGS. 10 and 11. As shown, the shape of tactility component 400 is triangular and it resembles a slice of a pyramid. Component 400 can be referred to as a rounded triangle. In this embodiment, the tactility component 400 includes a bottom surface 410 and a top surface 420. Top surface 420 is flat and has a triangular shape. Component 400 has three side surfaces 430, 432, and 434 that extend between the bottom surface 410 and the top surface 420. The flat configuration of top surface 420 provides the wearer with a surface area that can be used to apply a force or pressure to an object. The bottom surface 410 is configured to be coupled to a finger receptacle using an adhesive material or any other type of coupling or bonding techniques. Component 400 enables the wearer to hit or engage many angles and surfaces without aiming.

An alternative embodiment of a tactility component according to the present invention is illustrated in FIGS. 12 and 13. As shown, the overall shape of tactility component 500 is generally arcuate and it can be referred to as a curved fingertip shape. In this embodiment, the tactility component 500 includes a bottom surface 510 and two side surfaces 530 and 532 extending upwardly therefrom. The side surfaces 530 and 532 form a top edge 520 that is curved as illustrated in FIG. 12. Instead of a flat top surface as in component 400, the top edge 520 is a narrow, curved edge that provides a different point and type of engagement with an object. The configuration of component 500 wraps around a portion of the finger receptacle and enables the wearer to engage or hit an object from any direction.

An alternative embodiment of a tactility component according to the present invention is illustrated in FIGS. 14 and 15. As shown, the overall shape of tactility component 600 is a hemisphere and it resembles a raised, round dot. Tactility component 600 includes a bottom surface 610 and four side surfaces 630, 632, 634, and 636 that are defined by edges 622 and 624. The intersection point of edges 622 and 624 form top point 620, which provides a single point of contact and the concentration of force from the wearer.

Another embodiment of a tactility component according to the present invention is illustrated in FIGS. 16 and 17. The overall configuration of tactility component 700 resembles a diamond shape. Tactility component 700 includes a bottom surface 710, a top surface 720, and four side surfaces 730, 732, 734, and 736 extending between the bottom surface 710 and the top surface 720. The top surface 720 is similar to top surface 420 of tactility component 400 (see FIGS. 10 and 11) in that it defines a flat surface area for the wearer of the hand covering 700 to contact an object. Top surface 720 has a diamond-shaped configuration. Component 700 can be applied or coupled to a finger receptacle vertically or horizontally.

Another embodiment of a tactility component according to the present invention is illustrated in FIGS. 18 and 19. Tactility component 800 resembles a pyramid-like shape. Tactility component 800 includes a bottom surface 810 and three side surfaces 830, 832, and 834. The side surfaces 830, 832, and 834 collectively form a top point or tip 820. The tip 820 provides a single contact point that can be used to engage an object. Additionally, the side surfaces 830, 832, and 834 can accommodate all types of buttons.

Another embodiment of a tactility component according to the present invention is illustrated in FIGS. 20 and 21. Tactility component 900 includes a bottom surface 910, a top surface 920, and three side surfaces 930, 932, and 934 that extend between the bottom surface 910 and the top surface 920. In this embodiment, side surfaces 932 and 934 are gradually sloped as they extend between the bottom surface 910 and the top surface 920. However, side surface 930 is substantially vertical, thereby allowing for the top surface 920 to have an increased surface area.

An alternative embodiment of a hand covering according to the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 22. In this embodiment, hand covering 1000 includes finger receptacles 1010, 1012, 1014, and 1016 and a thumb receptacle 1020. Finger receptacle 1010 includes a distal tip 1018 and thumb receptacle 1020 includes a distal tip 1022. Coupled proximate to distal tip 1018 on finger receptacle 1010 is a pull tab 1030. Pull tab 1030 is coupled by stitching 1050 that defines a fixed or coupled portion 1032 and a free portion 1034 that can be grasped by the wearer. Pull tab 1030 can be used to assist with the removal of finger receptacle 1010 from the corresponding finger of the wearer's hand. Similarly, coupled proximate to distal tip 1022 on thumb receptacle 1020 is a pull tab 1040. Pull tab 1040 is coupled by stitching 1052 that defines a fixed or coupled portion 1042 and a free portion 1044 that can be grasped by the wearer. Similar to pull tab 1030, pull tab 1040 can be used to assist with the removal of thumb receptacle 1020 and the hand covering 1000.

In other embodiments, pull tabs may be included on additional finger receptacles. Alternatively, pull tabs can be provided on any combination of the thumb receptacle and finger receptacles of a hand covering. The pull tabs can be utilized on a hand covering that includes one or more tactility components. Alternatively, the pull tabs can be utilized on a hand covering that includes one or tactility regions with a reduced thickness of the material in the region or regions.

In other embodiments, any combination of finger receptacles and a thumb receptacle of a hand covering may include tactility areas or regions. Similarly, any combination of finger receptacles and the thumb receptacle may include a tactility component either in addition to or in lieu of a tactility area or region.

In various embodiments, the size of the tactility components or projections can vary. In one embodiment, each tactility projection can have a width of 5 millimeters and a height of 1.5 millimeters. In other embodiments, the width and/or the height of the tactility projections can vary, depending on the desired shape and configuration.

In alternative embodiments, different materials can be included as part of or for an entire finger receptacle or thumb receptacle. Some materials that can be used include thin materials, conductive materials, hard plastics, molder rubber, and thermal plastic rubber materials.

While the invention has been described in detail and with references to specific embodiments thereof, it will be apparent to one skilled in the art that various changes and modifications can be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope thereof. Thus, it is intended that the present invention covers the modifications and variations of this invention.