The top four players in the global smart textile market, namely E.I. DuPont De Nemours and Co., Koninklijke Ten Cate nv, Gentherm Inc., and Texas Instruments Inc., accounted for nearly 46% of the overall market in 2014. Despite commanding a dominant share of over 20% in the overall market, the topmost vendor E.I. DuPont De Nemours and Co., is facing stiff competition from several specialty product developing companies in the small- and mid-scale domain, Transparency Market Research has noted.
Rising Demand for Wearable Technology to Grant Smart Textile Market Momentum
The rising popularity of textiles embedded with wearable technology elements such as sensors or other varieties of electronic devices or circuits has granted significant momentum to the overall development of the global smart textiles market in the past few years. Smart textiles embedded with wearable devices such as heart rate sensors hold immense promise of bringing about a major transformation in the way personal health is monitored.
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The integration of nanotechnology principles in the textile industry also holds tremendous growth promise for the smart textile market. Enabling the production of effective smart textiles with special functionalities such as advanced UV protection, antibacterial properties, and water and strain resistance, developments in nanotechnology are expected to have a key influence on the overall development of smart textiles in the years to come.
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High Costs of Smart Textiles to Dampen Growth Prospects
Cost-intensive manufacturing procedures and high cost of elemental components add to the overall costs of smart textiles, making them unaffordable for a large set of consumers. Moreover, smart textiles varieties with embedded sensors and electronic elements are especially limited to a select set of consumers at present. The high cost of smart textiles is expected to be a prominent hindrance for the overall development of the market in the next few years. However, with advances in the technology and rise in the number of vendors will help ease the challenge in the near future.
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Developed Regions Continue to be Torchbearers
On a regional front, North America and Europe are presently the leading and most promising segments for the global smart textiles market. In 2014, North America accounted for a 40% share and Europe accounted for a 30% share in the global market. In broader terms, the smart textile market seems to be largely consolidated and confined mostly to the developed parts of the world. High cost of products can be attributed as the chief factor behind this trend. High disposable incomes and excellent receptiveness for technological advancements will keep these regions at the forefront of the global smart textiles market in the next few years as well.
In terms of applications, the military and defense sector accounted for the dominant share of 28.7% in terms of revenue of the global market in 2014. The healthcare sector accounted for an 18.5% share and is expected to witness slight decline by 2023.