Global Smart and Interactive Textiles: Snapshot
The global smart and interactive textile market has experienced tremendous growth over the past few years owing to the rapid rise in the number of end-user sectors. Currently, industries such as the automotive, medical, healthcare, and sports and fitness are showing an increased uptake of smart textiles. These textiles offer significant potential for medical and healthcare applications as they make diagnosis and risk assessment far more accurate and quick. The growth of the telemedicine market is also expected to have a positive impact the growth of the global market as smart textiles are equipped with sensors that record parameters and transmit them to a central unit.
On the flip side, high price of smart textiles as compared to conventional textiles is limiting the widespread adoption of smart and interactive textile. Combining all these factors, the market was valued at US$1.97 bn in 2015 and is estimated to reach US$3.81 bn by 2020, rising at a CAGR of 14.0% from 2014 to 2020.
Transportation Segment to Remain Front-runner Owing to Robust Growth of Automotive Industry
On the basis of technology, the transportation segment will continue to lead the market until the end of 2020, accounting for 35.2% of the overall revenue share. The flourishing growth of the automotive sector across the globe is one of the key factors contributing to the growth of the global smart and interactive textiles market. A variety of textile structures and materials are used in different means of transportation either for aesthetic applications or for mechanisms. Modern technology is being increasingly implemented in conjunction with the existing textile technology to offer exceptional functionalities such as self-cleaning characteristics, luminosity, energy generation potential, light weight, and self-repair capability.
Moreover, smart and interactive textiles are being increasingly used in industrial processes such as filtration, insulation, and clearing along with devices protection. These fabrics are also used in various electrical and chemical applications related to mechanical engineering. Demand for smart textiles in these industrial processes is anticipated to rise significantly due to increase in the number of industrial activities in emerging regions such as Asia Pacific, particularly in China. Owing to these factors, the industrial segment is poised to expand at an impressive CAGR of 17.3% during the forecast period.
High Demand for Smart Fabrics in Military Industry to Fuel Growth of North America
Europe was the leading regional market in 2015, representing 41.4% of the overall market revenue. The market for smart and interactive textiles in Europe has been witnessing a healthy growth, thanks to the funds by the European Union (EU) for the technological development of smart fabrics and interactive textiles. Moreover, with the robust growth of various end-user sectors in this region, there is a wide scope of application of these fabrics. However, North America is expected to surpass Europe by 2017. The growth of this region can be attributed to momentous consumption of smart textiles in consumer, military, and transportation applications.
Since 2006, the military industry in the U.S. has been exploring various opportunities for utilizing smart and interactive textile technologies at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (NRSDEC). The major focus is to integrate the latest technology into army tactical vests and combat uniforms. Other than military, the transportation industry held a large share in the North America smart textiles market as consumers are inclining toward improved the aesthetics of automobiles. North America is expected to account for 37.3% of the overall market revenue by 2020.
The Asia Pacific region is likely to rise at a CAGR of 20.2% during the same period. The rising industrial activities in emerging economies such as China and India are contributing to the growth of the region. Smart textiles are increasingly finding usage in applications such as lifting/conveying and supply chain processes. Furthermore, large smart textile manufacturers are shifting from Western Europe to Asia Pacific due to the presence of cheap labor, which reduces the production cost significantly. Some of the leading players in the global smart and interactive textile market are Fibertronic Ltd., E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, Interactive Wear AG, Globe Manufacturing Company LLC, Textronics Inc, Outlast Technologies Inc., and Toray Industries Inc.
- Military and defense
- Medical and healthcare
- Retail and consumer
- Others (Space, household applications, etc.)
- North America
- Asia Pacific
- Rest of the World (RoW)