IDTechEx Research has released a new report titled E-Textiles 2016-2026 which predicts that the market for e-textiles will reach over $3 billion by 2026.
Whilst the majority of wearable technology products sold today still fit with the components-in-a-box design, 2015 has been a record year for investment in smart clothing and e-textile products. To reach the masses, wearable technology must be useful, practical and fashionable, and seamless integration within textiles and clothing is seen as a key part of this. However, with many challenges, not least around washability, durability and in manufacturing, the majority of projects over the last decade were restricted to low volume niche products. This is now changing.
IDTechEx’s most recent work in the area found the market for pure e-textiles to be worth $100 million in 2015. Much of the attention focuses around products in the ‘Sports & Fitness’ sector and notably compression wear in the form of a ‘Smart Shirt’ or otherwise. However, whilst many of the largest players focus here, there is significant activity across verticals including military, medical & healthcare, workwear and others which are all described in detail within the new market research report “E-Textiles 2016-2026”.
This report describes the entire e-textile ecosystem, starting from the bottom up with detailed study of the material options and suppliers. At the component level, the report describes major players and techniques for all of the main options including: motion, touch, pressure, and electrical sensors, heating/cooling, lighting, communication and connectors.
Examples of new technologies which remain in research at the moment, but will reach maturing in the coming years are also described in the report, including: e-fibres (RFID, sensing and more); new materials like graphene, nanotubes and alike; energy harvesting including photovoltaic, piezoelectric and triboelectric options; energy storage in batteries and supercapacitors; logic and memory.
The report concludes that the market for e-textiles will reach over $3 billion by 2026, from around $100 million in 2015. With forecasts split by product and sector, details of all of the technology types, key players and market trends and finally over 25 full company profiles based on IDTechEx’s interview-based primary research, “E-Textiles 2016-2026” provides the most comprehensive overview of the electronic textiles industry today.
Excerpts from Business Wire. Image courtesy of Cityzen Sciences/Gizmag