Wearables, Smart Textiles and Nanotechnology: Applications, Technologies and Markets

Published May 2016

Smart Textiles 2016 Cover ThumbnailThe past few years have seen the introduction of a number of wearable technologies, from fitness trackers to “smart watches” but with the increasing use of smart textiles wearables are set to become ‘disappearables’ as the devices merge with textiles.

The textile industry will experience a growing demand for high-tech materials driven largely by both technical textiles and the increasing integration of smart textiles to create wearable devices based on sensors.  This will enable the transition of the wearable market away from one dominated by discrete hardware based on MEMS accelerometers and smartphones. Unlike today’s ‘wearables’ tomorrow’s devices will be fully integrated into the the garment through the use of conductive fibres, multilayer 3D printed structures and two dimensional materials such as graphene.

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They provide potential solutions to a wide range of pressing global challenges including energy generation and storage, health care, climate change, food security and access to clean water, and also potential opportunities for investors and entrepreneurs.

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Emerging Technologies are ones that:

  • Arise from new knowledge, or the innovative application of existing knowledge;
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  • Create new opportunities for and challenges to addressing global issues; and
  • Have the potential to disrupt or create entire industries.