The home button on the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus can only be activated from contact with skin. You can no longer press the home button of your iPhone with a pen, object or while wearing gloves. The new “solid-state” home button requires your skin contact to function.
The reason why we cannot interact with the new capacitive home button when wearing gloves is because gloves block the body’s natural conductivity. Humans conduct electricity and the iPhone’s new home button, just like most touch screens, has an electrical charge. Additionally, the reason why the home button registers our skin is because it distorts the screen’s electrostatic field at the point of contact, thus triggering an action.
New home button for iPhone 7 requires skin to function
You can purchase capacitive gloves that are designed to allow you to use touchscreens while wearing the gloves (follow this link to see a video demonstration).
To read more about the iPhone 7 home button requiring skin contact to work follow this link.