This PDF was generated from the Cambridge simulation gloves - Inclusive design tools   section of www.inclusivedesigntoolkit.com

This toolkit was developed by the University of Cambridge, Engineering Design Centre, sponsored by BT.






If you would like to purchase printed versions of this toolkit, please contact edc-toolkit@eng.cam.ac.uk for details.

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Cambridge simulation gloves

Why should I buy it?

The Cambridge simulation gloves provide insight into how limitations in hand movement can affect product use. Such limitations can be caused by various conditions such as arthritis. The gloves can build empathy with users, and can be used to examine the accessibility of products and services, helping to create better, more inclusive designs. Find out more about what the gloves do below.

How can I buy it?

*UK price, which includes delivery & VAT. Worldwide prices vary, and will be shown once you click through to our online store.

 
screenshot of a video that demonstrates the gloves and glasses

Watch this video to see the gloves in action.

The gloves packaging, showing one of the simulation gloves

A pack of Cambridge Simulation gloves looks like this

 

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What do the gloves do?

These gloves simulate a reduction in the functional ability of the hands. In particular, they use plastic strips to limit the strength and range of motion of the fingers and thumb. Various conditions, such as arthritis, can cause effects like these. As an example, these gloves will make it much more difficult to use a knife and fork, simulating the difficulties that people with arthritis of the knuckles have in gripping small handles.

Please note that impairment simulation cannot convey what it is really like to live with capability loss on an everyday basis. In particular, the gloves do not simulate other common effects such as pain, tremor, loss of tactile sensitivity, and changes to the shape of the hand that occur with ageing. Furthermore, they do not simulate any problems with the wrists. As an example, using a touchscreen keyboard on a mobile phone remains relatively easy with the gloves, but is particularly difficult for people with tremor.

Therefore, these gloves are intended to be used in combination with other tools as part of a holistic inclusive design evaluation (described within the Evaluate part of How to design inclusively).

The gloves can be used to help people to empathise with those with dexterity impairment, and to compare the demands placed by different products on dexterity. The harder a product is to use while wearing the gloves, the more demand it places on dexterity and the more inaccessible it is. Conversely, if a product remains comfortable to use while wearing these gloves, then it is likely to be more comfortable for a broad range of users.

 
The gloves has plastic strips that run along the backs of each finger and thumb. These make it difficult to bend the fingers and thumb, particularly past a certain point.

The gloves limit the strength and range of movement of the fingers and thumb

Photograph of someone wearing the glove and trying to use a mobile phone.

The gloves can be used to compare the dexterity demands placed by different products

 

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