With a number of international sportswear brands now keen to deliver on their early promise shown by such garments, several of Taiwan's textile companies have proved willing partners. This has seen them lean heavily for support on the Taiwan Textile Research Institute (TTRI) and the Industrial Technology Research Institute, while also looking to set the first industry-wide standards for smart clothing.
EverSmile, a smart clothing brand developed by Everest Textile, a clothing manufacturer based in southern Taiwanese city of Tainan is a prime example. The company specialises in vertical integration manufacturing, yarn twisting, weaving, dyeing, printing, laminating and special finishing. It also prides itself on developing value-added and innovative products to a number of globally leading brands in the sports, outdoor, casual wear and fashion sectors. In March this year, the company launched the first of its new generation of smart garments, products said to utilise the very latest in high-tech dynamic stretch fabrics.
The company's new smart garments can also estimate calorie consumption and make recommendations as to appropriate exercise regimes, in addition to monitoring pulse rate. Its data can be transmitted to a smartphone app via Bluetooth, while the garment's ultra-thin chip can easily be removed prior to washing.
A number of other biomedical technology companies are also investing heavily in the development of smart healthcare wearable technology, as well as Everest's innovative approach to the sector. The innovations currently on the horizon are said to include clothing that can monitor pulse rates, cardiac conditions and body temperature. Other companies are said to be trialing footwear that can gauge and analyse any wearer's running patterns.