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Prediction: Warm-Weather Athletes Will Soon Get Self-Cooling Clothes

December 12, 2015, 4:00 PM UTC
Illustration by Martin Laksman

The staff of Fortune recently assembled its predictions for 2016. Here’s one of our forecasts.

One of the biggest advances in the science of clothes-making in recent years has been tech that generates warmth beyond what the fabric alone provides. Uniqlo’s Heattech line has been a big hit with people for whom an extra sweater just isn’t enough, while Columbia Sportswear has developed reflective heat tech to keep winter clothing warm. But what about people who melt in 75-degree-plus weather? So far, most of the “self-cooling” apparel is really just about wicking away sweat, so there is no equivalent for keeping an athlete’s body from overheating in the summer. The big apparel makers are busy working on it, and the first one out of the gate stands to win a strong position in the $34-billion-a-year activewear industry.

This article is part of the 2016 Fortune Crystal Ball, a package of 33 predictions about business, politics and the economy by the writers and editors of Fortune. To see the entire package, click here.