If you are considering, or even know someone who has a desire to work in this field author Sabine Seymour's books on wearable technology is must read. Her first book Fashionable Technology serves as a reference guide to research institutes, projects and materials. And a who's who of this growing field.
The second book Functional Aesthetics which is on pre-order contains ground breaking design examples, and again serves as a resource for materials and DIY projects. For a more extensive description and a look inside the first book, click on the pictures.