Hating Summer Humidity and Touch

Maybe it is just that I sweat easily and I guess a lot. (Not quite as much as the guy in the picture.) But when the Virginia humidity kicks in during the late spring and summer, I find myself very frustrated with touch screen and touch enabled trackpads on devices.

It’s early on what will be a warm spring day (summer is still 20 some days away) with the temperature sitting at a comfortable 67 degrees with a dew point of 70. As I’ve worked and played with an iPad, an iPhone, a Macbook Pro, and a touch enabled Lenovo x201T this morning, I keep getting reminded of just how much oil, grease, and muck I put out when when the humidity is up. Of course, in addition to blaming my sweat output, I love to blame the makers of these devices, who work so hard at making their gadgets attractive. A nice out of the box experience fades more quickly in warm humid weather than it does when the air is dryer. And it’s not just about leaving smudges and fingerprints. Finger interaction on trackpads and touchscreens is just more difficult when there’s too much moisture involved. Devices also put off more heat in warmer weather as well, or at least I notice warmer surfaces that lead to, well, more sweating. Even using a stylus on a Tablet PC yields a more sluggish interaction as my palm loves to deposit more gunk on the screen. Of course I could crank up the AC and take some of that humidity out of the air, but I’m a bit too frugal for that, especially in the morning hours before things really heat up during the day.

I guess there’s nothing really to be done about the situation expect to grin and bear it, but it sure is frustrating. It makes me wonder how folks who live in climates that are more humid than ours feel about this.