What is the purpose of smart garments?

Commentators[1] and researchers[2] generally agree that smart garments such as Levi’s® Trucker jacket with Google Jacquard™ technology have at the time of writing in 2022 failed to achieve commercial success compared with other wearable technologies such as smart watches.  Jacquard™ technology was announced in 2015 and first appeared in Levi’s® Trucker jackets in 2017 and again with revised Jacquard™ technology in 2020 [3] but appears to have been withdrawn from Levi’s website.

It is therefore clear that a partnership of industry leaders with significant investment in smart garment technology over the best part of a decade is not a sufficient condition for success. Lumb’s article[1] concludes that “there are plenty of things left to figure out for smart wearables, including who has access and whether they'll be affordable enough for a person to fill an entire wardrobe. But those discussions will wait until we discover the role smart garments have in our lives”. In short, what is the purpose of smart garments?

Since 2018 Conductive Transfers has manufactured wand supplied over 150,000 printed circuits for FDA and CE approved medical smart garment INNOVO®, probably making it the world’s most successful smart medical garment to date. INNOVO® is a pair of smart shorts made from a stretchable fabric that are used to treat urinary incontinence. Also known as bladder weakness, urinary incontinence is a stigmatising condition that impacts one in three women worldwide, having a profoundly negative impact on quality and enjoyment of life.

INNOVO® medically approved smart garment
CE approved And FDA approved .png
CE approved And FDA approved .png

Conductive Transfers’ lead customer, Atlantic Therapeutics has established the INNOVO® brand as the leading innovation in non-invasive, wearable neuromuscular electrical stimulation. INNOVO® acts to strengthen the pelvic floor and thereby treat the underlying cause of bladder weakness. Today, the market for disposable products to manage this life-limiting condition, such as pads and liners, is growing significantly worldwide. These non-curative, symptom-masking solutions carry a significant lifetime cost and are environmentally unsustainable.

The electrode circuits used in INNOVO® are screen printed using Conductive Transfer’s patented process that eliminates all wires and substrates resulting in circuits that are thin, light, stretchable, cost effective, washable and comfortable for the wearer. Conductive Transfers is currently working with many innovative medtech businesses and researchers globally to bring new medical smart garments with valuable sensing and treatment technologies to market. Our modern 1100m 2 UK factory and experienced staff can deliver prototype and proof of concept circuits as well as production volumes. Please contact us at info@conductivetransfers.com to learn more or to arrange a call to discuss your requirements.

[1] Why Smart Clothes Are Still Years Away From Entering Your Wardrobe. David Lumb. April 15 2022. www.CNET.com. Why Smart Clothes Are Still Years Away From Entering Your Wardrobe - CNET;
[2] Perceptions and Resistance to Accept Smart Clothing: Moderating Effect of Consumer Innovativeness. Ju et al. April 3 2021. MDPI Applied Sciences. (PDF) Perceptions and Resistance to Accept Smart Clothing: Moderating Effect of Consumer Innovativeness (researchgate.net)
[3] Levi's® x Jacquard™ by Google... and Friends | Off The Cuff