Posted at 1:48 PM
Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced it will partner with the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) to host the first-ever Smart Fabrics Summit on April 11, 2016 in Washington, D.C. The Summit will provide a forum for public and private sector leaders in technology, apparel, and textiles to highlight recent developments in the smart fabrics industry, identify opportunities for collaboration, and discuss key industry challenges.
Recent advances in technology have brought together the apparel, technology, and textile industries to develop new capabilities in fabrics with the potential to change how athletes, patients, soldiers, first responders, and everyday consumers interact with their clothes and other textile products. Known as ‘smart fabrics’, these new high-tech products have the capability to interact with their user or environment, including tracking and communicating data about their wearer or environment to other devices through embedded sensors and conductive yarns. The applications for this new technology are broad, with most smart fabric product development seen in the fields of defense, fitness, health, and public safety.
In the upcoming years, the smart fabrics industry will continue to make technological advances and expand into new, untapped markets. The world market for smart clothing is projected to grow from a base of $17.2 million in 2013 to approximately $600 million by 2020, according to research firm Tractica LLC.
As “America’s Innovation Agency”, the Department of Commerce plays a unique role in facilitating greater collaboration between the public and private sector leaders to spur new advancements in the industry and encourage the creation of manufacturing jobs in the U.S. The Smart Fabrics Summit is an opportunity to discuss critical topics impacting the Smart Fabrics industry including research and development funding, intellectual property rights, standards, classification, and health regulations.
The Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) is the leading trade organization representing the advanced textiles industry. Founded in 1912, IFAI represents over 1500 member companies including manufacturers and suppliers of smart fabrics, shade fabrics and other specialty textiles.
For more information about attending or sponsoring the Summit, please visit: http://smartfabricssummit.com/