Smart Textiles & CELLIANT: A Synergy of Technology
In recent years there’s been growing innovation from brands and growing interest from consumers in smart textiles. It makes a lot of sense. In so many products outside of textiles, creating ‘smart’ versions is the next evolution of that product — think, of course, of smartphones, smartwatches and smart TVs. And if we think of textile products, they really hold a unique and rather intimate place in our lives. Products like clothing, upholstery and bedding are used every day and are often in direct contact with our skin, so adding functionality through technology, particularly to help improve wellness or comfort, feels like a natural fit.
In this article, we’ll look at smart textiles and how CELLIANT® infrared technology fits in the conversation and ongoing innovation in the industry.
What are Smart Textiles?
Within the industry, there are typically three classifications of smart fabrics: passive, active and ultra smart that are essentially based on the level of context awareness (including no context-awareness), connectivity and adaptability. Here is quick breakdown of smart textile as currently used in the industry.
What are passive smart textiles?
Passive smart textiles are textiles that are functional against external conditions beyond the ‘normal’ protective qualities of fabrics. Importantly, they do not change or adapt based on changing external conditions. They generally do not contain wires or sensors, and may include categories such as conductive fibers, waterproofing technology, UV protective clothing and more.
What are active smart textiles?
Active smart textiles are textiles that can sense external conditions and adapt their functionality in response to those external conditions. For example, some fabrics are capable of storing and regulating heat, or changing color based on the wearer’s body temperature.
What are ultra-smart smart textiles?
Ultra-smart smart textiles are textiles that sense external conditions and adapt multiple functions in response to multiple external conditions, continually sensing and reacting to ongoing changes. Ultra-smart smart textiles may combine multiple smart textile applications into a singular end product.
Is CELLIANT a smart textile?
While CELLIANT has common threads with certain subsets of smart textiles, such as UV protection and quick-drying functionality like passive smart textiles, or the thermoregulation of active smart textiles, we don’t label CELLIANT textiles as smart textiles. We prefer a simpler definition of smart textiles that is largely in-line with the use of ‘smart’ in other applications such as smartphones, smartwatches, smart TVs:
We define smart textiles as any textile product that has the ability to be context-aware (either aware of specifics of the external environment, or the body, or both) and connect with other devices and/or the internet.
CELLIANT is a proprietary blend of natural bioceramics to provide benefits to people. We are, however, an adjacent technology to smart textiles. If smart textiles’ primary functional additions (beyond the purely aesthetic) are to monitor the body’s functions, CELLIANT’s primary function is to interact with the body to improve its functioning. That’s why we call CELLIANT a bio-responsive textile. CELLIANT adds value to products in many ways, but primarily by giving brands a way to incorporate wellness into their textile products thereby differentiating them from their competitors. CELLIANT is a great option to enhance smart textile products as the two work together to create a symbiotic relationship, and it follows that the same end consumer that is interested in smart textiles would also be interested in CELLIANT infrared technology.
Smart Textiles vs. Wearable Technology
One important category that is often confused with smart textiles is that of wearable technology. Wearable technology is any form of technology that is worn as an accessory, is context-aware and connective. Interestingly, some smart textiles would be classified as wearable technology, and vice versa, but wearable technologies that we’re perhaps most familiar with are not textile based. Examples of these wearable technologies include:
- Apple Watch
- Amazon Echo Frames (glasses)
Applications for Smart Textiles and CELLIANT
Since CELLIANT synergizes well with the concept of smart textiles, let’s take a look at categories of smart textiles where we feel CELLIANT would be a great fit.
Smart Textiles in Clothing
Any smart clothing that is designed to monitor the body’s vitals for health or to improve performance would benefit from also incorporating CELLIANT infrared technology. CELLIANT has many benefits for performance and wellness including:
- Increased local circulation
- Improved local cell oxygenation
- Improved temperature regulation
- Increased stamina
- Increased strength
- Increased energy
- Faster recovery
CELLIANT would not only help brands bring their consumers wellness benefits, but add to the storytelling of the product — one that not only monitors the body giving useful information, but actively helps the body improve through infrared.
Smart Textiles and Sleep
Smart mattresses and bedding are increasing in popularity as people understand the importance of sleep to their quality of life. Smart mattresses are designed to help people better understand their sleep and help them sleep better. CELLIANT infrared technology has been shown to promote more restful sleep and so the marriage of smart mattresses and CELLIANT is ideal from an end-consumer consumer perspective as well as a brand storytelling perspective.
Smart Textiles FAQ
Smart textiles are a new and exciting innovation in textile products that raises many questions about definitions, applications and benefits. Here’s some answers to some commonly asked questions.
What are examples of smart textiles?
Some examples of smart textiles include:
- Smart shoes that capture information about how you walk or run
- Smart mattresses that sense how you sleep
- Smart clothing that help with health and/or performance
What industries are using smart textiles?
Smart textiles are being incorporated into many industries including:
- Performance apparel, including uniforms
- Mattresses and bedding
- Medical supplies such as bandages, wraps and braces
What are the advantages of smart textiles?
Smart textiles take something that plays a very important role in our everyday lives, textile products, and adds additional functionality that helps people wearing them, or in contact with them, improve in some way and/or provides valuable information.
What is the purpose of smart textiles?
The main purpose of smart textiles is to provide more knowledge and awareness about individual’s bodies so that people can improve their own wellness or their performance, or they can directly assist people in becoming better. Mattresses, for example, tell you about your sleep quality so that you can make adjustments to improve your sleep, while smart yoga pants can actively help you improve your yoga poses. The military uses made in the USA smart textiles to monitor soldiers in the field to optimize their health during missions.
Take Your Brand to the Future with Textiles that Do More
Smart textiles are just beginning to scratch the surface of what’s possible with the joining of electronics and fabrics. At CELLIANT, we’re particularly interested in how smart textiles can be used to improve quality of life, health and performance because that’s our mission, too. If you’re thinking about how CELLIANT can fit with your smart textile products, get in touch with our business development team by filling out the form below.