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Introduction of Digital Technologies into Lifestyle Products Release of Report by Study Group for Higher Quality of Life through Utilization of IoT and Other Digital Tools Introduced into Lifestyle Products

In November 2017, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) established a Study Group for Higher Quality of Life through Utilization of IoT and Other Digital Tools Introduced into Lifestyle Products. Since then, the study group has held discussions and compiled the discussion results into a report. Concerning approaches to utilization of digital tools introduced into lifestyle products, the study group focused on developing such utilization from the perspectives of business-to-consumer (B-to-C) or business-to-business-to-consumer (B-to-B-to-C). They ascertained current situations of the “fashion tech*” and “smart textile**” sectors in particular. Based on this, the study group also held discussions on challenges and efforts in the near future, as well as potential directions and other issues further into the future.

Notes:

*1. The term “fashion tech” is a made-up phrase combining fashion and technology. This term represents overall efforts for the proactive introduction of new digital technologies into the field of fashion to enhance productivity and added value of products and services higher.
**2. The term “smart textile" refers to clothing made of conductive fibers and other current-carrying materials that permit wearers to acquire biological data, e.g., heart rate, cardiac electro gram, electromyogram and breathing rate, or to measure motion data, i.e., data on physical movement, making use of the expansion and contraction of fibers and other materials.

1. Background

As consumers’ sense of value and lifestyles change and the fourth industrial revolution advances, lifestyle products possess great potential to enhance our quality of life and contribute to the realization of the Connected Industries and Society 5.0 policies. To this end, industries should take advantage of IoT and other digital tools by introducing them into such products, collect and analyze data through the products, and provide new added value, such as solutions to challenges and customer experience, to consumers.

The utilization of data and provision of solutions are a source of competitiveness for businesses. Rather than merely extending conventional efforts, the advancement of lifestyle products will require companies to consider global viewpoints and take new actions quickly instead of merely extending conventional efforts.

2. Outline of the discussions

From the standpoints above, the study group focused on utilization of digital tools introduced into lifestyle products from the perspectives of B-to-C or B-to-B-to-C, and ascertained the current situations thereof, particularly in the fashion tech and smart textile sectors. Based on this, it held discussions concerning future challenges, efforts to overcome them and future potential and directions, and went on to compile the discussion results into a report.

These digital tools possess infinite potential that may cause fundamental changes in the existing concept of clothing that may drive industries to provide a variety of new services and solutions that would not normally be achieved under existing means.

Appendix

Release date

April 20, 2018

Division in Charge

Lifestyle Industries Division, Manufacturing Industries Bureau

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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