Hitachi Displays out of Japan have been working on a new type of capacitive display technology that Apple could use in the next-generation iPhone 5 coming in 2011 that allows for interacting with the screen without direct skin contact, such as when using the device with gloves. From Patently Apple:
The new touch panel is still a projection design, but could be operated even while wearing gloves. The new panels range from 3 to 10 inches in size, covering Apple's current lines of iOS based devices. Considering that Apple is a pioneering leader in this field, we're likely to see this technology come to iOS based devices in the coming years.
This is a really neat idea. I can't tell you the number of times during the winter months when I'd appreciate such a technology as this (as opposed to spending $20+ on a pair of special "iPhone gloves", pictured above). This would also be great for using a non-iPhone specific stylus if you're still into using technology dating back to the late 90's.
How about you, would you be happy seeing this integrated into future iPhone or iPad displays, or would you not notice the added value? Let us know what you think in the comments!