Worth Reading – E-Textiles 2016-2026 – a new report

Worth Reading

E-Textiles 2016-2026 – a new report

Electronic fibres, yarns and textiles, including key innovators, manufacturers, players and products – the market for e-textiles will reach over USD three billion by 2026, states the latest commercially available report of IDTechex (December 2015)

E-Textiles 2016-2026 Electronic fibres, yarns and textiles, including key innovators, manufacturers, players and products Brand new for December 2015 by James Hayward: The market for e-textiles will reach over USD three billion by 2026.

E-Textiles Graph 1

Being in contact with textiles for more than 90% of our lives, and they are starting to become intelligent. The basis of this new functionality is the integration of textiles and electronics. From clothing to bandages, bed linen to industrial fabrics, new products integrating e-textiles are in creation. The market has been slow to start due to many challenges, but with large companies investing heavily and releasing early products, we expect the growth to accelerate rapidly over the next decade. In their purest form according to the definition, e-textiles based on the integration of inherently electrically or electronically active fibres have begun to see integration into early products. However, with many associated challenges around reliability, performance and comfort, there has been a strong push towards other solutions that can achieve better properties including washability, stretchability and new functionalities. The result is a complex ecosystem of different material, component and connection options that are now available for product designers.
IDTechEx have produced a comprehensive guide to all of the key techniques in use throughout industry and research today. Key advances in the last five years have led to early commercial products, with a market of around USD 100 million in 2015. However, as larger names enter the space, and returns on the significant investments made a start to come to surface, IDTechEx forecasts that the market will reach over three billion by 2026, with ‘Sports & Fitness’ and ‘Medical & Healthcare’ being the two largest sectors.

E-Texiles Graph 2

The report describes the full value chain, looking from the material and component options, to the manufacturing challenges, through to the applications, markets and key end users. Trends by market sector are crucial, as the addressable markets are both large and diverse. The report characterises key market sectors including ‘Sports & Fitness’, ‘Medical & Healthcare’, ‘Wellness’, ‘Home & Lifestyle’, ‘Industrial, commercial, military’, ‘Fashion’ and ‘Others’ (including automotive). For each, we report on progress amongst key players and projects, as well as outlining the unmet needs and growth potential of each.

Finally, the report looks further into the future, describing the cutting-edge of e-textile research. Componentry such as photovoltaics, supercapacitors, batteries, and even memory are made directly as a fibre. Materials such as carbon nanotubes, inorganic nanorods and piezoelectrics are integrated within textile structures, introducing new properties. Systems combining the best in conventional electronics with flexible sensors and actuators via bespoke connectors enable new product options. Whilst some of these options remain further in the future, we report on key findings that will impact the industry in years to come.

Another report shows that wearable technologies make further progress:“Early adopters” and fitness enthusiasts are fueling continued growth in the wearable technology market, according to a report from Dallas based market researchers at Troubadour Research and Consulting.

The report, “Profile of the Next Wave of Wearable Tech Shoppers,” finds

  • 24 percent of consumers surveyed indicated they intend to buy a wearable device in the next six months.
  • More than 50 percent of those interested in purchasing would be new wearables buyers, indicating that wearables have moved firmly into the mass market.
  • 51 percent of those intenders self-identify as innovators or early adopters, meaning about half of the next purchasers identify as mass-market shoppers.

The survey was conducted online, among 1441 U.S. consumers 18 or older who have broadband Internet at home. The report, with a margin of error of 2.6 percent (95 percent confidence level), will be available at the company’s website in the near future.

This report describes the entire e-textile ecosystem, starting from the bottom up with detailed study of the material options and suppliers. At the component level, the report describes major players and techniques for all of the main options including: motion, touch, pressure, and electrical sensors, heating/cooling, lighting, communication and connectors. Examples of new technologies which remain in research at the moment, but will reach maturing in the coming years are also described including e-fibres (RFID, sensing and more); new materials like graphene, nanotubes and alike; energy harvesting including photovoltaic, piezoelectric and triboelectric options; energy storage in batteries and supercapacitors, and even logic and memory.

The commercially available report concludes that the market for e-textiles will reach over USD 3 billion by 2026, from around USD100m in 2015. With forecasts split by product and sector, details of all of the technology types, key players and market trends and finally over 25 full company profiles based on IDTechEx’s interview-based primary research,”E-Textiles 2016 – 2026″ provides the most comprehensive overview of the electronic textiles industry today.


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