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Covid fears will drive smart clothing uptake in Asia Pacific

Smart Covid-19 features will drive the adoption of smart clothing across the APAC region during the next two years, according to GlobalData. 

Manish Chaurasiya, senior technology analyst at GlobalData, said that the smart-clothing category is not only attracting fitness and sports persons but also healthcare professionals. Smart clothing can be used to remotely track and analyse real-time body temperature, heartbeat rate, breathing rate and ventilation in Covid-19 patients.

Multiple startups and tech companies are looking into this segment as an opportunity to attract customers. Smart Covid-19 features include social distancing sensors, sanitisation pockets, thermometer and an in-built mask.

“A significant number of these start-ups are backed by strategic investors, including leading capital investment firms and textiles companies.” said Chaurasiya.

Due to the on-going Covid-19 pandemic, smart-clothing start-ups are exploring new possibilities in the healthcare and medical field.

In the region, India-based ReTiSense has developed smart insoles for diabetic foot ulcer prediction, while Cyrcadia Asia has a smart bra which can early detect breast cancer.

Global technology giants, including Microsoft and Apple, are also planning to foray into this growing segment. Last year, Microsoft filed a patent for electronically functional yarn, whereas Apple patented health monitoring technology for smart clothing.

“The current temporary postponement and cancellation of sports events and supply chain disruptions as a result of Covid-19 could hamper the smart clothing adoption this year. 

“With the situation expected to return to normalcy by next year, smart Covid-19 features support, the emergence of new use cases, and patents on smart clothing technology and resumption of sporting events in phases are likely to drive this segment in the coming years.”

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