Smart Clothing: the Next Generation of Wearables
Gazing into a crystal ball can be a risky business, but amidst the haze a few things seem clear about the future of wearables:
1) They remain hugely popular. Driven by fitness activity trackers (mostly bracelets to monitor walking, sleeping, heart rate, body temperature, blood pressure and calorie consumption), sales of wearables will chalk up a 39% increase this year, reaching almost 48 million units, according to the Consumer Technology Association’s mid-year forecast.
2) Encapsulated electronics woven into clothing—“smart clothing”—are primed to reach beyond fitness to a wide range of personal uses as the number of companies seeking to embed technology into the clothes we wear is multiplying exponentially. The analysis firm ABI Research predicts the smart clothing market will top 18 million clothing articles annually by 2021, representing a 48% compound annual growth rate (CAGR).
Smart textiles built from conductive polymers will enable built-in features, such as computing devices and multifunctional sensors, offering new possibilities for interacting with services, devices and environments.