Public safety is one of the areas where the most advances in "smart fabrics" are taking place, the U.S. Department of Commerce said as it announced the April 2016 Smart Fabrics Summit.

Smart Fabrics Summit Scheduled for April 2016

The Department of Commerce reports that the smart fabric product development is being seen in the fields of defense, fitness, health, and public safety.

The U.S. Department of Commerce and the Industrial Fabrics Association International are joining forces to present the first-ever Smart Fabrics Summit on April 4, 2016, in Washington, D.C. The event will be a forum for public and private-sector leaders in technology, apparel, and textiles to highlight developments in the smart fabrics industry, identify opportunities for collaboration, and discuss key industry challenges, according to the partner organizations.

According to Commerce, recent technological advances "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 tracking and communicating data about their wearer or environment to other devices through embedded sensors and conductive yarns. The applications for this new technology are broad, with most smart fabric product development seen in the fields of defense, fitness, health, and public safety."

The agency also reports the world market for smart clothing is expected to grow from a base of $17.2 million in 2013 to approximately $600 million by 2020, citing as its source the research firm Tractica LLC.

For more information about attending or sponsoring the summit, visit http://smartfabricssummit.com/.

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