Smart clothing boom to expand beyond fitness

Smart clothing will soon extend beyond fitness to target a wide range of personal, health, and enterprise uses, disrupting traditional fashion trends, according to a new report.

Analysis by ABI Research concludes the smart clothing market will top 18 million clothing articles annually by 2021, a 48 per cent Compound Annual Growth Rate.

“Smart clothing today targets mostly sports professionals,” says Ryan Harbison, research analyst at ABI Research.

Forward-looking brands are pursuing worker and public servant safety, interactive gaming, children’s health monitoring, and the elder care markets.

“New market segments not only expand the addressable market but also serve to prove that the technology can perform in a broader and more austere set of environmental conditions and applications,” says Harbison.

Innovative players driving adoption include Athos, Heddoko, Hexoskin, (pictured above), Mimo, Mondevices, OMsignal, Owlet, Sensoria, and Textronics.

Recently joining these brands are more well-known brands such as Ralph Lauren, Google and Levi’s. Given the market’s growing popularity, ABI Research expects it will only be a matter of time before some of the larger tech players enter this space, too.

“The biggest challenge for this segment is ruggedizing the technology that makes the clothing smart,” concludes Harbison.

“But as is the case in all IoT markets, partnerships will be even more critical to create durable, practical, and fashionable products that consumers want and are willing to pay a premium price. Partnerships will need to include wearables OEMs who will compete with, but also can complement, smart clothing.”

The findings are part of ABI Research’s mHealth Wearables, Platforms, and Services Research Service, which includes research reports, market data, insights, and competitive assessments.

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