Wearable tech: Shipments of smart shirts, socks and shoes set to climb

Global shipments of smart clothing items, including shirts, socks and shoes decked out with an embedded computing device, are set to rise steeply in the next five years, according to a forecast from technology research firm ABI Research.

ABI has found that smart clothing items will be the second fastest growing area in wearable devices, behind ‘hearables’, however the technology will continue to have one of the lowest wearable device market shares.

ABI has forecast that the global smart clothing market is poised to exceed 31 million device shipments annually by 2022, up from just under 5 million this year.

Highly targeted consumer applications within the sports, fitness and wellness markets are currently fuelling growth, according to the research.

“The majority of smart clothing shipments will be primarily driven by consumer applications, with growing enterprise applications in worker safety and monitoring over the next few years,” ABI research analyst Ryan Harbison said in a statement.

“Today’s market targets mostly sports professionals, as the clothing offers more accurate readings than other wearables because it is so close to the skin and other vital organs. As vendors expand the use case potential, the technology will prove its worth, cut its costs and reach a wider array of both consumer and enterprise users.” Read more

Martin Kovacs – Smart Company – 10 Nov 2017