At one end, the market for wearable technologies is increasing by the day with more and more consumers adopting such products, and at the other end companies around the world are innovating to break stereotypes by developing wearable technologies that are embodiment of health, safety and well-being. The speed at which companies are going about their innovations is no less than a revolution and creating awareness for such products is a major thrust area.
As the wearables devices are either worn on the body (insulin patch) or close to the body (heated jacket), textiles can play smart role in creating more comfortable and integrated solution. Although the current global share of smart textile in the smart wearable market is small, several companies like Twinery by MAS, Inqube by Brandix, Myant are leading the revolution of smart textiles.
Apparel Resources (AR) brings forth some companies that are racing against time and are geared to become torchbearers of the wearable movement.
Moderncraft by MAS!
It is a wearable technology company with a portfolio of patented technologies. By enabling the intersection of smart textiles and electronics, it creates products that enhance experiences, healthfulness and everyday interactions. Born from innovation, Moderncraft seeks to intertwine elements that embody human experience and technology, to craft complete next to skin solutions that transform the way we live.
Concept-to-Delivery: Supporting you all the way from concept ideation to scaled manufacturing. Eco-system: Access to an apparel tech giant, allowing us to leverage broad capabilities and powerful partners. Compliant: ISO 9001, 14001 & 13485, OHSAS 18001 and LEED compliant manufacturing facilities globally. Best-in-Class: A collection of award-winning technology platforms and products.
It is an end-to-end solution provider for all things smart!
Asics invests in Japanese start-up No new folk studio – developing smart running shoes
ASICS Ventures Corporation – an investment subsidiary of ASICS Corporation – invested in a Japanese start-up No new folk studio, which is known for developing sensing solution Orphe Track that measures and analyses foot movement.
Together, ASICS and No new folk studio are developing smart running shoes that will provide runners with real time feedback on any changes in foot movement. The foot movement data, which includes several steps/distance, cadence and angle of ground contact, is collected and together with biomechanics expertise at ASICS Institute of Sport Science, is analysed to provide runners with feedback on gait analysis, including step length and foot strike pattern.
A prototype of the smart running shoes was presented at CES 2020 in Las Vegas, US, and ASICS intends to launch its first smart shoes in 2020.
Xenoma e-skin Sleep & Lounge smart pajamas connect to a hub that can detect falls
The Xenoma e-skin Sleep & Lounge smart pajamas come with a hub that tracks your everyday movement to detect any falls. This smart hub then alerts loved ones so they can seek appropriate care. But, the hub does much more than this. It also monitors your body motion during sleep to help you improve your sleeping habits. When connected to a smart home, this hub adjusts the temperature of the air conditioner while you’re asleep. It’ll also provide you with proactive exercise advice during the day. For example, when connected to a smart home speaker, it can detect if you haven’t engaged in much activity that day. These smart pajamas are soft and comfortable, further helping to improve your sleeping pattern. Plus, you can wear them as loungewear for comfort and flexibility around the house.
Elvie Pump – The world’s first silent wearable breast pump giveaway
There is a new product that is revolutionising the way that women breast pump! It is the Elvie Pump! It is the world’s first silent wearable breast pump. How amazing is that? Recently, Elvie, the British brand, launched the Elvie Pump which offers more freedom and mobility than ever before to women who are breastfeeding. The Pump is completely silent and worn under your bra. It connects to an app that allows mums to monitor their milk volume and sessions. Small and lightweight, Elvie Pump is worn inside a standard nursing bra, making it truly hands-free. Nothing to tie you down – or slow you down!
The revolutionary technology eliminates noise so that you can pump in peace – anytime, anywhere. It has just 5 parts to clean and takes seconds to assemble. No cords, no wardrobe changes. Connect to the free Elvie Pump app to monitor milk volume in real time, track pumping history for each breast and control the pump remotely (Elvie Pump works with or without the app). It is available to purchase at Elvie.com and major UK retailers such as John Lewis, Mamas & Papas, and will be available on Amazon soon too.
MySkinTrack UV by La Roche-Posay – Place sensor on clothing
Better looking skin starts with healthy skin habits. This battery-free sensor and companion app measures your exposure to various environmental aggressors and provides personalised advice and product recommendations tailored for you. The light emitting diode (LED) is used as a detector to capture UV light. This energy will be read by transferring data from the sensor to your phone using Near-Field Communication (NFC) technology. Based on your UV exposure and environmental factors, the app uses an intelligent algorithm backed by over 25 scientific publications to warn you when your environmental exposure is at a level recognised to contribute to your specific skin concern. It is versatile and a sensor needs to be placed on clothing or accessories; besides it is water-proof, battery-free and no charging is necessary.
Nova Ultralight LED Athletic Jacket
Be visible and stay safe during your runs when you sport the Nova Ultralight LED Athletic Jacket. In 2018, by combining high tech material with style and functionality, this advanced jacket featured bright LED lights woven into the fabric. Additionally, the Nova Jacket is completely machine washable. The lights have an incredible 450-foot range of visibility to make sure you’re always seen at night. To achieve the lightweight design, the Nova Jacket features a small 0.5-ounce battery that hides away in the pocket. It recharges in just 30 minutes to give you a full 8 hours of use. This makes it perfect for even more enduring outdoor adventures. The breathable all-weather fabric also keeps you dry in any conditions. There’s even a special protective pocket for your smartphone and a place to stash your earphones. Furthermore, the Nova Jacket is available in black, grey and navy blue colours for both men and women.
SKIIN – a digital textile computing platform (2017-2018)
SKIIN is a digital intelligent interface that connects every human being to self, others, IoT and artificial intelligence. This new textile computing platform can read, record, analyse and respond to one’s needs.
SKIIN products are designed with a diverse sensor and actuator mix that enables the wearer to gain ‘holistic insight’ into their physical and mental state. SKIIN is the first product that, being comfortable and washable, is truly wearable. There’s the option of a 24×7 connection. Given SKIIN is integrated directly into all apparels we all wear every day, it has the potential to be adopted by 100 per cent of population worldwide, connect to 100 per cent of the body, 100 per cent of the time.
SKIIN brings some of the technology of a sleep lab to the wearer’s everyday life, helping understand changes during the sleep stages throughout the night. It can also control the connected environment (that is thermostats, lighting, etc.), while the user is sleeping.
AIO Sleeve by KOMODO Technologies
A revolutionary, all-in-one wearable solution – From in-depth activity tracking, to monitoring one’s overall health and wellness by using something KOMODO calls Health Score. The AIO App monitors unique heart rate patterns and generates a score based on a five star system, all inside the comfort of a smart compression sleeve.
The activity tracking compression sleeve looks set to be a good fit for fitness folk and has been in development for 8 months. It can be worn all day and night and will be available in two different fabrics.
The sleeve holds a small tracking device that’s packed with sensors, a Toshiba processor and internal memory that slips into the smart garment. From here it can collect information on your heart beat, sleep and even deliver data on the intensity of your workout. That’s all sent in real time to the AIO companion smartphone app.
Willow, a start-up company making a new, wearable, breast pump for women, is capping off a frenetic 2020 with US $ 55 million in fresh funding as it looks to expand its product line to more offerings for new mothers.
The company expects to bring new products to market beyond the breast pump in 2021. A March 2020 report from Frost & Sullivan puts the total size of the femtech market, including technologies for mothers, at just over US $ 1 billion with growth rates of 12.9 per cent. So the category is small, but growing quickly as more tools come in to provide services in what is a woefully underinvested sector. Indeed, the US $ 155 million that Willow has raised to date puts the company amongst the upper echelon of women’s health investments.
The future is indeed bright for such young companies that see wearable not only as a futuristic need but are confident that the movement has already started!
Also Read: Sri Lanka playing smart with smart wearables
Also Read: Smart wearables shape the future of apparel!