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Thoughts by José Luis Agell
Some thoughts after the Smart Fabrics Conference 2011.
April 8, 2011Posted by on
- I just got back from London, where I spent a very intense week. I attended the Smart Fabrics Conference, an annual event that gathers the fashion, technology, electronics, research, academia, textile and diverse applications communities to discuss where the industry stands, the next steps in technology implementation and how to address the changing needs of the different groups of consumers.
- The smart fabrics sector is emerging. This is just the beginning of a very rapidly growing market.
- There are amazing technologies in development: Lighting, MEMS, Shape memory, Phase change, Sensing…
- There are still some technology challenges: how can we industrialize the manufacturing processes and washability of smart fabrics.
- Most clothing brands still don’t know much about how these technologies could help them reach new markets and applications.
- The sector is still too technology-driven. Apart from the technology development, there’s a need of companies creating actual products and developing killer applications.
It was our first time at this Conference and I was really looking forward to meeting the rest of attendees, learning about their experiences and discussing about the future of the wearable technologies.
The truth is that the event over met my expectations. I learned a lot about the state of the art of most flexible technologies and most importantly, I had the chance to meet amazing people, like Stacey Burr (founder and CEO of Textronics, acquired by Adidas in 2008) and Hap Klopp (founder of The North Face, Ardica and Cocona fabric). They are both seasoned entrepreneurs who openly shared their insights and gave me great advices for Innovalley.
The Conference helped me get a good sense of the current status of the market. These are some of the impressions I got:
And this is exactly where Innovalley comes in.