Skip to main content

This winter wearable is a like a phone remote for gloved fingers

Winter time is the anti-touchscreen season. Even with the screen sensitivity turned up via settings, gloves make fine control on a touchscreen difficult. If said gloves are of the giant variety worn snowboarding or skiing, even using the slim buttons can be a chore. Enter YodelUp, the first wearable designed for gloved fingers. It’s up for funding now on Kickstarter.

YodelUp is essentially a ruggedized smartphone remote on a wrist strap designed to fit over gloves. It can control music functions (play, pause, and volume) and works as a walkie-talkie with the Zello app. The functions aren’t revolutionary; they’re just handy and well thought out. It’s the heft of the body that makes YodelUp stand out.

Related Videos

YodelUp’s appearance is counter to the smart gear trend toward smaller, slimmer, and trimmer. No one wants to wear a massive smartwatch to a wedding or the office, but the cold wetness of a day on the mountain, plus a rough fall or two, could easily spell the end of more delicate wearables.

YodelUp is not trying for be-all, everyday-wearable status. It’s designed to be large and in charge, that’s the whole point. If it were slim and small with a touchscreen or minimal buttons, it wouldn’t fit the niche for people who want to keep their gloves on while they’re up on the mountain. The rugged body is not just a design conceit: tactile edges are an important addition that makes it easy to feel what you’re doing through your gloves. It’s also waterproof and shockproof.

Brothers Ramin and Darius, the minds behind YodelTech, are both music lovers and avid skiers, and YodelUp is clearly born to address their frustrations. Anyone who watched their glove or worse, their phone plummet to the snow under a ski-lift knows the struggle is real. That can happen when people take their gloves off for calls or to manage music for the ride. But with YodelUp you don’t have to pull your phone out of your pocket or take off your gloves.

At $71 to $101 via the Kickstarter Campaign, YodelUp isn’t cheap, but it’s a less pricey option than smart helmets (many of which are still in development themselves) or gloves with built-in remotes. While it may not offer the wealth of functions found in your other wrist-wearables, it’s more useful on the mountain than your Apple Watch simply because it’s not buried under layers of fabric.

But do you need gloves or a winter landscape to appreciate YodelUp? Not really. Since it’s waterproof, it’s also handy as a remote in any wet situation. The Bluetooth range is about 30 feet, so if you spend the majority of your days in the pool but want to have music control, YodelUp can do double duty. Yes, there are other devices that can serve as a poolside remote or a hands-free device for driving (YodelUp could fill in there too), but none that will do just as well on the mountain. And, since the walkie-talkie uses a cell signal, it’s a year round go-just-about-anywhere chat tool.

The YodelUp Kickstarter campaign hasn’t been feeling the love. Perhaps it’s the timing — it’s nearly the end of the season, the hype train for winter gear pulled out of the station in last year. The first YodelUps are set to ship in December, 2016, just in time for the next powder season. Yodeltech has until March 25 to hit the $43,000 campaign goal a relatively modest amount for a piece of smart tech. There are still YodelUp rewards available for $81.

Editors' Recommendations

Samsung may have just killed the Galaxy S10
Galaxy S10 Plus.

The Samsung Galaxy S10 was an excellent addition to Samsung's hardware lineup in 2019, but it seems like it's finally being sunset by the company after one final update.

According to Droid Life, this week saw what's likely to be the Galaxy S10's final security update before its official support ends. While it's not confirmed that S10 owners won't see another update if something major needs to be patched, it seems like this might be it for the smartphone line in terms of regularly scheduled updates.

Read more
Your phone may play a loud alarm on April 23 — here’s why
Deep purple iPhone 14 Pro and Cream Galaxy S23 cameras closeup

Most governments have the ability to send nationwide alerts to their citizens via smartphone notifications, and the U.K. is planning on doing just that on April 23. As a test of a new emergency alert system, the U.K. government is warning everyone now that U.K. citizens should expect their phones to all sound off together in a few weeks.

The nationwide alarm is a feature that isn't used very often. That doesn't diminish its importance, though, as it has taken the place of nationwide TV and radio broadcasts that warn citizens about potential threats in their area, including natural disasters, terrorist attacks, or missing children.

Read more
9 Apple products we’re expecting in 2023: iPhone 15, M2 Mac Pro, and more
An iPhone 14 sitting on a wood desk.

Apple is one of the most secretive companies in the world of big tech. Rumors of future products seem to develop years ahead of their time, and while we can all speculate as much as we want, we don’t really know what new products Apple has coming until they're announced. For existing products, though, it’s a little easier since most of those tend to be on an annual upgrade cycle, with a few exceptions.

But the rumor mill for new products, like Apple’s mixed reality headset, has been reaching peak levels of hype recently, which leads us to believe its release is imminent. We could also have the first iPhone with USB-C charging, eliminating the need for proprietary Lightning cables, and even a 15-inch MacBook Air.

Read more