Smart Garments and E-Textiles – What’s Going On?
e-textiles are present in the market for the last decade, but recently their development has accelerated at high tempo. The volumes of garment products sold is substantially bigger than the one for smartphones; and it is only natural that a new synergy has been formed – between technology giants and textile producers. In this post we provide some latest insights on what is going on now.
We have already produced a number of aggregations in our Portal:
- Wearable Electronics and Smart Textiles: A Critical Review
- The Future of Wearables: Social Textiles Shirt
- Podcast: The Future of Wearables: Smart Textiles & Fashion Tech
- Smart textiles presentation
Now, some citations form the Market Research from JustStyle:
Wearable technology: The future market potential for smart garments and e-textiles
Published: October 2015 Publisher: just-style.com
E-textiles (combining electronics and textiles) have been in development for over a decade now but commercial interest and success have, until recently, been relatively limited. Since 2013 however, the rapid growth of wearable technology has generated increased interest in the sector. Analysts predict that smart garment shipments in the fitness sector alone will reach 26m garments by 2016, outselling every other type of wearable device.
With smartphone shipments at roughly 1bn units compared to garment volumes of around 60bn units per year, it is perhaps unsurprising that major global brands like Adidas and Ralph Lauren as well as technology giants such as Intel and Google are now considering smart garments as a significant new growth opportunity.
Sometimes, the headlines don’t give you the whole picture; this report is for those looking for better knowledge and understanding of this complex market, its key drivers, the major players and enabling technologies. Critically, however, it also outlines the bigger picture of emerging applications, technology trends and other major influences on the sector.
This report will help those who want to discover the opportunities of this fast growing sector, understand potential threats and remain a step ahead of the competition.
The Report can be accessed HERE
A CNN veteran and Strategist Victor Hernandez produced this presentation:
Mobile Me: Programming for Wearables
Victor Hernandez, News Innovation Strategist
- Smart wearables projected to generate $37B by 2020
- Smartwatch expected to be leading wearables category Apple Watch will account for 68% of 2015 smartwatch shipments
- The ratio of smartphone shipments, compared to smartwatch ones, currently sits at around 500 to 1.
- BBC News Labs predicts by 2018, wearable tech will become part of standard equipment issued to its reporters
- Smartphone users now glance at their mobile devices more than 100 times a day, and with the smartwatch that could become 300 or 500 times.
- The average user now picks up their mobile phone more than 1,500 times/week
- Millennial survey of more than 500 college students. Majority of wearable tech owners rarely consume news on devices Wearable experiences most interested in: texting, music 97% respondents exposed to Apple Watch advertising, most have never used
A magnificent source for DIY e-Garments are there pages from Adafruit Industries
Wearable Electronics on Wednesdays
Just look at this example video:
DIY Wearables for Back to School
It turns out that the fashion industry is actively responding to wearable technology. This fascinating story by Dutch Anneke Smelik, professor of Visual Culture in the department of Cultural Studies at the Radboud University in Nijmegen, is definitely worth reading. She is currently working on the research project Crafting Wearables (2013-2018) and the publication From Delft Blue to Denim Blue: Contemporary Dutch Fashion (expected in 2016).
Cybercouture: Transformations of Body and Identity Anneke Smelik
Whereas in previous decades fashion’s primary concern was brand identity, today the focus appears to have shifted to other values than luxury and consumption. New technologies have made possible personalised silhouettes and industrial production of single unique garments. What will these developments mean for the future of fashion?
One of the exciting new fields in the creative industry is the integration of fashion and technology. Wiring complex systems of microprocessors, motors, sensors, solar panels, (O)LEDs or interactive interfaces into the fabric, textile or clothing turns them into smart garments. Designers experiment with these ‘smart materials’ to create thrilling examples, like a dress that connects you to twitter, a catsuit that visualises your emotions, or trousers that change colour or measure your vital functions. I use the labels ‘wearable technology’ or ‘wearables’ interchangeably, but I actually prefer the term ‘fashionable technology’, following Sabine Seymour (2009), to bring the field of advanced technology more decidedly to the field of fashion. I reserve the term ‘cybercouture’ (Smelik, 2012) for the futuristic look of the performative and artistic kind of designs that I discuss in this paper.
Interestingly, Dutch artists and designers like Pauline van Dongen, Iris van Herpen, Bart Hess, Aniela Hoitink, Daan Roosegaarde, Marina Toeters, Karin Vlug and Anouk Wipprecht and form the vanguard in the international field of fashionable technology. In this short paper I evaluate how the integration of fashion and technology changes the cultural value of fashion, especially in the transformative relation to the human body and identity.
The notion of materiality allows us to focus on the actual matter of technology and how our – material – bodies relate, often intimately, to the technical objects that enhance our clothes and our selves (Rocamora and Smelik, 2015). There is no doubt that technological innovations will have a deep impact on the meaning and communication of clothes and fashion. If technologically enhanced clothes can measure temperatures, chemical processes or vital functions, sense movement and position, or have expressive qualities, they will change the relation of the wearers to themselves as well as transform the communication to and with others.
The fact that the garments are worn on the body increases the urgency to take into account the body’s materiality.
Perhaps fashionable technology can develop ways of integrating the body’s tactility and sensitivity into the design. This is where I think the futuristic designs of van Dongen, van Herpen and Hess can help us to shape and change our identities differently.
READ THE FULL POST HERE
Image by Adafruit Industries