Jabil, the electronics manufacturing giant that bought connected fabric leader Clothing+ earlier this year, is starting to use its heft to establish itself in the smart clothing business. The company today published the Peak+ reference design for clothing, incorporating smart fabrics from Clothing+, transmitters and apps from Suunto, and analytics from Firstbeat.
John Dargan, CEO of Clothing+ and a senior vice president of Jabil, said the Peak+ platform would serve as a development baseline for branded clothing labels seeking to enter the sensor-based smart clothing business. A clothing maker could use customize the platform — heart-rate-sensing fabrics, wireless radio, and data interpretation — to speed products to market. In an interview, Dargan told Wearable Tech Insider that Jabil was focusing on the fitness, fashion, and healthcare industries — places where Clothing+ already had a substantial footprint. (Clothing+ made the fabric for a sensor bra from Victoria’s Secret last year.)
Dargan told WTI that Clothing+, a Finnish company that had been producing e-textiles for well over a decade, had been looking for a buyer because it needed to scale its business in the face of a rapidly growing market. Jabil is opening a new 75,000 square-foot factory in Suzhou, China early next year, and a new 10,000 square-foot R&D center in Florida, near Jabil’s headquarters.