Smart fabrics, also termed as smart textile, electronic textile, or E-textile, are the fabrics that have electronics and digital components incorporated in them. Technological advancements in the field of nanotech have powered the expansion of smart textile, which combines electronics with textiles.
In the past, smart fabrics were typically praised for their invention but hardly for their aesthetics. That’s starting to change with novel advances in the field that help make high-tech clothing both innovative and aesthetically pleasing. Smart fabrics, designed to prevent injuries, measure the wearer’s physiological activity, and monitor health is a major growing market.
Electronic textile is designed for both functionality and comfortability. They consist of electronic elements and conductive fibers that are woven into traditional fabric. The electronic elements comprise fiber optics biomedical sensors, antennas, etc.
Some of the smart clothing items are gloves with sensors, wearable smart products that can calculate stress, and socks that have thin blood pressure sensors. They can cooperate with both the environment and the user while sharing real time data about the user with other devices.
As per the report by Grand View Research, Inc., the smart fabrics market is poised to rise to a valuation of USD 5.55 billion and is estimated to observe a CAGR of 30.4% by 2025, with North America holding the major market share.
This novel breed of technology has a huge capacity to change the fashion industry in the years to come, and with current innovations in the market the future is nearer than we think.
Top 3 Innovations in the Smart Textiles Market
Smart textile company Xenoma is looking for ways to make technology participate more in our lives, specifically in the field of medicine. The Japanese firm is displaying smart pajamas that can be worn by patients in the hospital, with a special focus on dementia patients. The idea behind this innovation is, instead of confining them to their rooms or keeping them under observation all the time, let the smart clothing do the job automatically.
The most interesting innovation is the fabric sensors that don’t require liquid or gel interaction to uphold conductivity with the skin. The company states that the fabric can be washed more than 100 times after which they will start showing indications of wear and tear. The company plans to make the product available for medical use by 2020, by when the cost per garment will mostly be less than $100.
Since people always want access to the digital world, Google partnered with Levi Strauss & Co and planned to offer this admittance through clothing. The tech giant created very thin conductive alloys that can be combined with natural and synthetic fibers. The Jacquard fabric has the same aesthetics as conventional textiles and can be used in any design. On the other hand, the clothing made from Jacquard is interesting due to the fact that it can coordinate with electronic devices.
This Commuter Trucker Jacket is directed at cyclists, who often use their phones while cycling and pose risk to themselves as well as others. Once the jacket is paired, the user can use the app to allocate abilities and commands to specific gestures. For example, for playing the music, wearer needs to tap on the wrist of the jacket. It also permits users to receive notifications, navigate, and handle calls through the gestures on the jacket.
The development of smart clothing has been driven by innovations that are addressing unsolved problems. This upcoming forward shift in the textile industry is responsible for presenting us with products like triboelectric materials. It is the first energy-harvesting fabric, efficient of converting kinetic energy to electric energy from several sources like rain, wind, and also human movements.
At the initial stages, triboelectric material harvest energy when certain materials are rubbed together, causing friction, which in turn causes electrons to be moved from one material to the other.
Triboelectric materials are designed by weaving together lyocell rayon fibers and silver fibers, and have been developed to work with a myriad of applications in the wearable space. Presently, triboelectric is being revealed as a technology that could give us the power to produce electricity ourselves.
The Future of Smart Textiles
Thanks to future fabrics and its capability to sense and respond to changes in its environment, smart textiles are finding several applications in various industries. This emerging technology can store and measure data about the wearer’s activity and movement. Smart clothing is useful to people who work in dangerous environmental circumstances to reduce worker exhaustion and prevent injuries.
By incorporating fashion with technology, manufacturers can produce both innovative and aesthetically pleasing clothes. Since future technological innovations could make manufacturing procedure quicker and cheaper, wearing comfortable pants that monitor your activities, or a sweater/jacket that adapts to your body temperature during the day could soon develop as a novel fashion trend.
Grand View Research, Inc. is a U.S. based market research and consulting company, registered in the State of California and headquartered in San Francisco. The company provides syndicated research reports, customized research reports, and consulting services. To help clients make informed business decisions, we offer market intelligence studies ensuring relevant and fact-based research across a range of industries, from technology to chemicals, materials and healthcare.