The global market for smart textiles and fabrics is expected to be valued at $1.59 billion by 2020, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 24.1 percent from 2013 to 2020, according to a report by market analysts at San Francisco-based Grand View Research. The market is expected to be fueled by the growing penetration of smart phones and other smart or high-tech devices including iPods. The majority of new laptops and smart phones are equipped with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology, which enables the connection of sensor-based devices to the Internet through mobile phones.
The miniaturization of electronics is expected to significantly fuel industry growth over the forecast period. To make sensors compatible with fabric and ensure optimum comfort and wearability, product developers have focused facilitating efficient integration of components into the fabric. Among the key findings:
- Growth in end-use industries for smart textiles is expected to favorably impact this market in the coming years. Protection and military applications are expected to be prominent and register high growth. Sports and fitness applications and the medical field are also expected to emerge as fast-growing sectors.
- Consumers have focused on fashionable products that offer a step more than traditional fabric. Growth in the fashion and entertainment industry is expected to propel the smart fabric market; additionally, demand from the sports and fitness sector has been increasing with a growing awareness of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
- Ensuring an efficient power supply is a key issue, since using conventional batteries may render the target garment too bulky for wear. Efforts to counter this drawback include developing a lightweight fabric that acts as a credible power supply.