Tapping into the booming wearables market, electronics company Jabil Circuits (St. Petersburg, FL) and smart textile developer Clothing+ (Kankaanpää, Finland), which Jabil acquired in June 2015, have introduced Peak+, a smart garment reference design for building an integrated textile heart rate monitoring garment. The technology was unveiled at the recent Wearable Tech Show USA in Santa Clara, CA. Jabil and Clothing+ partnered with Suunto, a manufacturer of heart rate monitors, and Firstbeat, a provider of physiological analytics for sports, fitness and well being.
"Building an integrated textile Heart Rate Monitoring solution today requires very different competencies and capabilities, which often turn into a guessing game between multiple vendors trying to piece it all together," said John Dargan, Jabil Senior Vice President and CEO of Clothing+. "With Peak+, we're offering customers in the fitness, fashion and healthcare markets a strong competitive advantage with a custom solution that gives them easy entry into the high-growth wearables market."
High growth is a bit of an understatement, actually. The wearable technology industry is projected to grow 64% over the next three years, according to organizers of CES 2016, where the wearables exhibition areas have more than tripled in size since 2015. The wearables market will reach $25 billion in 2019; the health and wellness segment of that market is expected to be worth $5 billion in 2016.
Peak+ technology includes textile-integrated electronics, a wireless transmitter developed by Suunto that transfers the data collected by the garment to a smartphone, and actionable analytics based on that data using Firstbeat technology. Jabil contributed its broad industry ideation, design, manufacturing and supply chain expertise, global footprint and ability to bring quality products to market quickly and reliably to the project.
Described as the e-textile industry's first reference design, Peak+ is designed to take the time and risk out of smart garment development, according to Jabil. Throughout each step of the highly customizable design and development process, regular testing takes place to ensure accurate measurement collection.
"The textile-integrated biosensor market for medical/health/lifestyle applications is attracting a significant amount of attention while at the same time being laced with many intricacies," said Harry Zervos, Principal Analyst, IDTechEx Inc., in a prepared statement. "The combination of Clothing+ and Jabil stand out in the field by offering a one-stop shop that lets companies move quickly from research to pilot to mass production."