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 by tracking and communicating data about their wearer or environment to other devices through embedded sensors and conductive yarns. The applications for these new capabilities are broad with most smart fabric product development now seen in the fields of defense, fitness, health, and public safety.
Reaching the market’s full potential will require overcoming not just technical challenges but also bridging differences in how these distinct industries approach product development as well as addressing various public policy issues.
To foster greater collaboration between the U.S. apparel, technology, and textile industries and to identify the public policies that could accelerate the design and manufacture of smart fabrics products by U.S. companies, the Department of Commerce in partnership with the Industrial Fabrics Association International will host the Smart Fabrics Summit on Monday, April 4, 2016.
Specifically, through a day of panel discussions and industry demonstrations, the Summit will:
Bring together industries that need to collaborate in order for this emerging industry to meet its full potential and accelerate its development by U.S. companies;
Improve mutual understanding of the needs of private sector industries and the roles of public sector agencies; and
Spur original thinking among public and private sector organizations about how new or existing policies interact with future smart fabrics products.
The policy issues that will be explored at the Smart Fabrics Summit include: (1) research and development funding, (2) intellectual property, (3) standards, (4) import classification, and (5) health regulations.
Click here for more info!