Are thermal gloves for gaming worth getting?
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Are thermal gloves for gaming worth getting?

The Magma Glove, a heatable compression glove by Gamertech, is due to be released soon. It’s a heatable compression glove by Gamertech. The manufacturer promises improved gaming performance and a reduced risk of injury.

No, the Power Glove isn’t making a comeback. Unlike the 1989 data glove for NES, the Magma Glove isn’t made for controlling a game. Instead, the product by Gamertech uses thin heating elements to keep your hand warm and optimise your e-sports performance.

What the glove does

The manufacturer calls the technology in the glove which actively warms parts of the hand and wrist Thin Film Thermal Regeneration. There are three temperature settings, which are activated at certain intervals. In addition, there’s a glide pad to reduce the friction of the glove on the surface it’s on, which is usually a mouse mat.

The glove exposes your fingertips to keep your clicking and scrolling as precise as always. Like compression socks, the glove creates pressure on the tissue of your hand and forearm, which should relieve the venous and lymphatic system (page in German).

Does it actually work?

Gamertech writes that clinical tests with the glove have shown that acute and chronic pain is reduced by a factor of 1.5 and 1.7. The Magma Glove isn’t intended to replace your warm-up before gaming, but to support it. In fact, the manufacturer emphasises the importance of warming up. What it doesn’t mention in the blog is whether a warm-up was carried out by the subjects before the clinical studies were conducted. There’s also no link to the study.

Other studies show the importance of temperature on gaming performance. Temperatures below 5 and above 21 degrees Celsius reduce performance. The optimal temperature is 16 degrees Celsius – not only for your hands, but for the whole body. The ability to concentrate – which also has a major influence on your gaming performance – is also at its best in this temperature range. Similar data can also be found for other sports. In other words, they hardly differ from e-sports. The idea of a glove is nice, but if the ambient temperature isn’t right, its effect is likely to be limited. There’s also a good chance that the temperature at most e-sports events will be over 5 degrees Celsius.

And then there’s the question of whether the glove is even permissible in competitions, should it actually give you an advantage. E-sports were regulated well before they were recognised as a sport by the International Olympic Committee. With this recognition, however, the regulatory measures are likely to further increase. Gadgets, such as gloves, may be banned from competitions.

New gadget, questionable added value

The steadily increasing interest in e-sports has seen a growing market for gadgets and devices in the field. The Magma Glove shows that it’s not just mice or keyboards attracting the attention of manufacturers. However, the Magma Glove seems to rely heavily on marketing speak backed by unfounded studies.

Similar to gaming glasses (page in German), where the effect’s minimal, if there’s one at all. At least the compression of the glove should have a positive effect provided it works well. Independent tests will have to prove that first. And similarly to the glasses, Gamertech is bound to shift a certain number of gloves. Meanwhile, the company’s already working on the next product: the Sub-Zero Gloves. Sounds like an ice bath for post-gaming hands.

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From big data to big brother, Cyborgs to Sci-Fi. All aspects of technology and society fascinate me.


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