The largest market for smart textiles is to be found in the medical sector, which will become an $843 million market by 2021. Using smart clothing, patients with chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart problems, will continuously and simply monitor their health and send updates to their physician, providing more useful data and avoiding office visits. Technology of this kind already exists in smart sports clothing and will be extended to medical applications as sensors become more accurate
Meanwhile, the market for self-cleaning textiles will reach $573 million by 2021. While this kind of technology has been available for some time, driving its growth will be ability of self-cleaning textile coatings to become fully omniphobic – being able to rid fabrics of a broader range of dirt, oil and grease, wine stains, etc. In addition, self-cleaning textiles are expected to integrate smart antimicrobial capabilities. Self-cleaning textiles that are hydrophobic on the outside and hydrophilic on inside are also being developed. These repel water and stains from the outside while minimizing perspiration stains.
By 2021 smart textiles are expected to use $134 million in sensors with more than half of those revenues coming from pressure sensors. The report notes that this is an area that is attracting venture capital where it benefits from the current interest of VCs in the related area of IoT sensors. There are also important new textile-specific developments in the sensor area, such as the creation of fabric transistors.
Applications and Markets:
This report includes an analysis of applications where n-tech believes smart textiles have a real opportunity to move beyond the lab and expensive demonstrations high-volume commercial applications.
Applications covered include:
– Health and Fitness: Sportswear, health monitoring, and clinical applications
– Military and Security: Uniforms for soldiers and firefighters
– Fashion: Functional clothing for the masses
– Non-clothing applications: Solar cells, automotive, and more.
This report provides coverage of how the following categories of materials are being used to fabricate commercially available smart textiles:
– Electrically conductive yarns and threads
– Conductive polymers
– Shape memory materials
– Color-changing materials
– Phase-changing materials
– Self-cleaning and antimicrobial materials