Engineering 101

Research Forecasts Market Growth in Electronic Textiles

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The new version of the IDTechEx report ‘E-textiles 2019-2029: Technologies, Markets and Players’ includes brand new data about e-textiles revenue. Many companies have existed for a long time in the industry by making the majority of their revenue from R&D or design contracts rather than necessarily from product revenue.

The main forecast in the report focuses on specific product revenue across different sectors (including biometric monitoring, heating, lighting and other e-textiles), but for the first time, this report includes additional historic data and short term estimates for the total revenues of companies working in the space.

James Hayward, Principal Analyst at IDTechEx and lead author on the report, said: “Many of the companies in this emerging industry make the majority of their revenue on a project-by-project basis, with the component of consulting and R&D revenue often being more significant than just looking at products sold. In previous years, we have collated data to understand the volumes and revenues from product shipments in e-textiles.

“In this edition, we expanded on this to include historic data on all revenue from e-textiles companies, as well as representation of the different industries and product types from each player. The result is not only a projection of future opportunity in the space but also a detailed study of the current and short term scenario for the current players in the industry today”.

Many companies continue to investigate this sector, fueled by a clear long term vision for the potential around e-textiles. Textile products have a ubiquity which electronics companies can only dream of. Electronic products and their surrounding digital ecosystem which they fuel are the key products for the four largest companies in the world (by market capitalization, as of 2019).

The idea to combine the features of each, providing a comfortable, fashionable, customizable interface between humans and digital products, creating huge value in the process, is central to the “big picture” thinking of many speculative investors today.

However, the industry remains a very long way from this eventuality. Many much more real challenges exist for e-textiles companies today, from optimizing supply chain and manufacturing to validating product value in the mind of consumers, through to end of life management of the products once they are sold.

Steps are being taken across these challenges, in investing to consolidate advanced manufacturing in house, pursuing medical approval routes for biometric monitoring after consumer routes have proven unfavorable, and by optimizing materials with recycling or disposal in mind. These early steps are critical to establishing real short term revenue, before developing towards the bigger picture ideas.

‘E-textiles 2019-2029: Technologies, Markets and Players’ has been compiled by IDTechEx over six years of work. It is the most comprehensive overview of this emerging technology space, enabling readers to learn from the past, assess partners or competitors in the present, and plan for the future of this industry.

The report contains an assessment of the entire e-textiles value chain today, from the materials and components, through to the products and markets, both currently being served and being targeted in the future. The report lists details of 200 companies, including primary research where IDTechEx analysts have met and interviewed over 100 of these players.

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