Conceived as an elegant way of highlighting the possibilities when it come to recycling gadgets, the “Talk to the Hand” gloves combine vintage Miu Miu and Pineider gloves with parts from old mobile phones and can be connected to any smartphone that supports Bluetooth.
Thanks to a speaker embedded in each thumb and a microphone embedded in each pinkie finger, the gloves not only keep wearers’ hands warm but allow them to make and receive phone calls by simply miming the action of lifting a telephone receiver to their face to talk.
Of the project, commissioned by O2 to raise awareness of its phone recycling service, Miles said: “I hope that my Talk to the Hand project will get people to think again about the waste created by not recycling gadgets. While these might not be for everyone, there are hundreds of other uses that old phones can be put to — from being reconditioned and used again to being mined for their components. If a few more people recycle their gadgets rather than send them to landfill, I think this project will have fulfilled its aim.”
This is the second in an ongoing series of recycled gadgets that the network operator and artist have created together. In February, Miles showcased his ‘Walkie Talkies’ — vintage men’s and women’s shoes with telephones embedded in their soles allowing the wearer to take a call by putting a shoe up to his or her ear. And next in the series is a handbag that doubles as a mobile phone so that people don’t have to rummage around inside their bags in search of their handset every time it rings.
The lighthearted gadgets underline quite a serious issue. In the UK alone there are currently upwards of 70 million unused mobile handsets and a further 30 million are sold every year. As well as being erased and refurbished for use in emerging markets, all mobile phones and smartphones contain rare metals and other minerals that can be recycled, yet too many devices are still heading to landfill sites when consumers upgrade to better handsets.