Thursday, August 17, 2017

Smart Clothing Expected to Hit $4B by 2024

The era of smart clothing is about to break open, according to a new market study from Global Insights that says this industry will grow 50% annually to $4B+ in the next eight years. Sensors and haptic feedback are expected to move from watches, bands, and independent devices to be an integral part of the t-shirts, shoes, and jackets of the future.

Fitness is just one industry driving the trend, with health care and military applications also providing a big boost. They all share the desire to use real-time feedback and artificial intelligence to determine health levels, track goals, monitor form, and prevent injury. A seamless integration of tech and clothing also has the potential to rapidly change industries - imagine getting lower insurance rates for clocking your daily workouts, or custom supplements shipped to your door based on your chemical balance and level of workout.  Prices are still a bit on the high side, but if these projections are accurate, these should quickly become affordable.

(Projected growth in smart clothing, according to Global Insights)
If you like to track the intersection of tech and health, you've probably seen a few of these products announced. Here are a few that I find interesting:


The Australian company Wearablex.com makes a yoga pant called the Nadia X that gently pulses to help you adjust your form and hold your yoga poses properly.



Lumo Body Tech makes a pair of shorts that helps you optimize your stride by measuring cadence, bounce, pelvic rotation, and braking and giving you audio clues in real time.


Canada's Hexoskin makes a complete triathlon suit that measures heart rate, breathing, and more to provide insight into intensity and recovery, calories burned, overtraining, and sleep quality.


Athos uses micro-EMG sensors in clothes to detect how much your muscles are working, heart rate, and breathing to get your workouts dialed. This is one of many "muscle exertion tracking" technologies coming to the market.

The market study says it is good 'ole t-shirts and shoes that will lead the way, but we clearly are going to see a lot of cool breakthroughs across the board. Data junkies will get their fill for sure!

For the rest of us, I'm sure regular old t-shirts will continue to be available and culturally accepted. Whatever it takes to get you outside and running is cool by me.