Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Professional athletes driving smart clothing market

Steve Rogerson
August 29, 2017

Growing adoption of smart products by professional athletes to optimise the performance level and prevent potential injuries is anticipated to drive the smart clothing market worldwide, according to Global Market Insights.
The market watcher predicts that the smart clothing market is set to exceed US$4bn by 2024, and shipments are set to grow at over 50% CAGR.
Due to the increasing contract costs of athletes, the sports associations are heavily spending on these products to reduce injuries. The surge in demand for remote monitoring of patients followed by hospital staff injuries also provides significant growth opportunities to the smart clothing market.
Rising awareness associated with fitness coupled with the demand for monitoring body activities such as blood pressure and heart rate are expected to catapult demand.
Products with specifications such as tracking muscle activity offer lucrative opportunities to reduce and prevent sports injuries resulting from improper warm up and exertion. Rapid urbanisation coupled with the growing consumer participation in health and fitness clubs is anticipated to impact the smart clothing market positively over the forecast timeline.
However, factors such as high cost coupled with lack of awareness among individuals regarding the use of these products is causing difficulties. The high cost of the products can be attributed to the various type of sensors for monitoring physiological activities coupled with the rising cost of conductive fabrics used for manufacturing.
Smart jackets can control the mobile device of the user followed by features such as one tap answering and rejecting calls and connecting to music and camera services. The smart T-shirt segment is predicted to grow significantly due to the data offered by these products such as perspiration rate, heart rate and muscle engagement, which are analysed to increase the efficiency of the wearer.
Sports and fitness applications are set to witness steady growth over the forecast timeline. This can be attributed to the increasing use of products such as T-shirts, pants and shoes by professional athletes as well as sports teams to lessen injuries.
The high adoption of smart uniforms in military and defence applications is also expected to drive the industry size. These include features such as collection of vital signs and using the data to gain insight to soldiers’ heath during battles.
The report says the US smart clothing market is anticipated to grow heavily due to the increased spending by various sports clubs to enhance the efficiency level of the players followed by injury detection. And increasing military and defence investments for the development of uniforms provide lucrative opportunities to the industry.
Players operating in the industry include Hexoskin, Heddoko, Ralph Lauren, Athos, Sensoria and Catapult Sports. The industry is witnessing collaborations between the players and sports associations. Competition is expected to intensify on account of the increasing number of new entrants.