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.

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.

Cars

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Wearable chargers and A.I.-enhanced keyboards

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Deals

Best air conditioner deals: LG, TCL, and Frigidaire get discounts

We’re well into summer, but the hottest days are yet to come. Here are a few air conditioner deals available online right now for both portable and window-mounted units in a variety of BTU outputs so you can find the right one for your…
Product Review

Vizio’s latest 2.1-channel soundbar boasts sweet cinema sound on the cheap

With a slim subwoofer, simple connections, and the ability to easily customize your sound, Vizio’s new SB3621n-GB 2.1 Soundbar System is an excellent, affordable way to beef up your TV’s terrible audio.
Product Review

Samsung's $99 fitness tracker takes on Fitbit. Can it keep pace?

Samsung’s going toe-to-toe against Fitbit’s Inspire HR with its own $99 fitness tracker -- the Galaxy Fit. It also has a heart rate monitor, can automatically detect six workouts, and has a battery that can last for days.
Deals

Amazon drops the price of Garmin Vivofit Jr. activity trackers down to $70

You can get various electronics for children during Prime Deal 2019. Check the deal on the Real Flower and Broken Lava Garmin Vivofit Jr. fitness bands. They are available on Amazon for $70 during the 48-hour sale.
Deals

Amazon slices 46% off Microsoft Surface headphones for Prime Day

Microsoft's first attempt at headphones was a good start, however, their $350 retail price is a little steep. Prime Day 2019 has the answer to that issue: A 46% price cut that's only good through Tuesday night, so act quickly.
Deals

Amazon’s Prime Day price on the Garmin Forerunner 235 is the best we’ve seen

We've covered deals on the Garmin Forerunner 235 on Amazon and elsewhere quite frequently, but Amazon's Prime Day deal by far beats any other price we've seen for this smartwatch, either new or used. You'll save 58% through Tuesday.
Wearables

The Best Prime Day smartwatch deals: Fitbit, Samsung, and Apple Watch discounts

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is around the corner, and while there are likely to be deals on TVs, gaming consoles, and more, there will also likely be some great deals on smartwatches. Here's what we know about all the smartwatch deals.
Deals

Best Prime Day smartwatch deals: Apple Watch, Fitbit Versa, and Samsung Galaxy

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is finally here, bringing with it a number of great smartwatch deals. Whether you're into Apple's Apple Watch, or prefer a smartwatch that has Google's Wear OS wearable operating system, there should be a something for…
Deals

Apple Watch Series 4 smartwatch now just $360 in Amazon Prime Day deal

Amazon Prime Day is a fine time to buy a new smartwatch. The Apple Watch Series 4 is the cream of the smartwatch crop, and now in an Amazon Prime Day deal, the 44mm model can be yours for just $354, down from its original $429.
Deals

Amazon drops Fitbit Ace fitness tracker for kids to $60 on Prime Day

We scoured Amazon during Prime Day 2019 to help you spot discounts on tech for kids. If you are looking for a gift for your preteen, consider the Fitbit Ace. You can get this fitness tracker for just $60 during this event.
Apple

Missed out on Amazon’s Prime Day Apple Watch deal? Walmart has you covered

Amazon's deal on the Apple Watch was pretty good, but it sold out within the first 24 hours of Prime Day. As an alternative, we'd suggest you shop Walmart, which has the Apple Watch Series 3 available for $80 off its normal price.
Mobile

Is the Apple Card any better than a regular credit card? We asked an expert

The new Apple Card is integrated with your iPhone and comes with a titanium backup card for places that don’t accept Apple Pay, but how does it stack up against the competition? We asked some experts to find out.
Deals

Walmart Apple Sale: iPad, AirPods, and Apple Watch deals after Prime Day

Walmart’s competing Prime Day sale is continuing until the end of today. This has turned out to be good news for Apple fans — with discounts on iPads, iPhones, MacBook, and Apple Watches still on sale.