Author: Fu, Fang
Title: 3D ear anthropometry and its application in product design for the Chinese population
Advisors: Yan, Luximon (SD)
Choy, Clifford (SD)
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2021
Subject: Anthropometry
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: School of Design
Pages: xii, 137 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: Nowadays, various ear-related products, such as earphones, earmuffs and hearing aids, are widely used in everyday life. Ergonomic design necessitates that the products provide the users with an efficient function, comfort and safety. Anthropometry, as a fundamental component of ergonomic design, provides size and shape references for associated products. With the advancement of Computer-Aided Design techniques, 3D anthropometry provided more precise information than traditional measurements. However, applying 3D anthropometry in ear-related product design encounters difficulties due to the complex ear morphology and other technical obstacles. Previously, ear anthropometry has been investigated under different factors, including population, age, gender and symmetry. The majority of the studies used limited ear dimensions, which can only be used to design specific products. These studies' ear dimensions were insufficient to aid commercial product design, especially with increasing customer demands in various markets. In comparison to traditional measurements, 3D anthropometry provides more anthropometric details to improve current and future designs. However, the application of 3D anthropometry in ear-related studies is difficult due to the ear morphology and variation. Hence, seeking a proper method to study 3D ear anthropometry is crucial for related ergonomic design. Another design issue was related to the anthropometric applications in ear-related product design. For existing commercial products, researchers investigated the inconsistency between product size and population variability. Specific studies looked into anthropometric applications for specific products with specific dimensions. The relationship between ear anthropometry and product size has yet to be thoroughly investigated. Therefore, there was a need to explore relevant user experiences, including physical fit situations and human perception.
Regarding the design issues, the thesis aims to investigate 3D ear anthropometry and its application in product sizing for ergonomic use. To begin, traditional measurements were used to obtain basic information about ear size and shape. The traditional measurement, as a widely accepted method in anthropometry, provided a general view of ear size and shape and was later compared with 3D anthropometric data. The collected 3D data was then analysed using Principal Component Analysis to generate statistical models. The representative models were used as ergonomic references for related product design. As for the user experience, fit and comfort perception were studied to seek the relationship between anthropometric data and product size using a within-subject experiment. Lastly, a sizing system was established considering the 3D anthropometry and human perception with a validation experiment. The thesis not only provided statistical anthropometric models for the target population but also proposed a comprehensive sizing method considering both 3D anthropometry and human perception. The anthropometric study demonstrated the use of 3D scanning and other Computer-Aided Design techniques to analyse ear size and shape. The anthropometric findings revealed the morphological characteristics of the external ear in the Chinese population, which can be used in ergonomic design, medical applications and other applications. The study on fit and comfort perception aided in understanding the relationship between customised design and user preferences for ear-related products. Based on the above findings, the sizing system was developed to effectively improve current commercial products and invent new products.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: open access

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