Sunday, September 23, 2007

PolyU “head-hunters” share results of SizeChina.com

The world’s first database storing 3D head and face measurements of ethnic Chinese has come into use, after 18 months of dedicated efforts by pioneering researchers of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU)’s School of Design (SD).

According to Mr Roger Ball, Director of "SizeChina.com" project and Assistant Professor of SD, industrial designers around the world have been longing for such ergonomic data because many existing consumer products are designed for Caucasians, and as a result they do not fit Chinese people properly.

"Understanding human size and shape is the cornerstone for designing successful consumer products because every product relies on accurate fitting. Designers, engineers and architects need sophisticated digital data on head and face shapes to design the next generation of best-selling products. How well a product fits us is the most important part of any successful design," he added.

In compiling the anthropometric data, Mr Ball and his team has visited six mainland cities, including Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Lanzhou, Chongqing, Beijing and Shenyang. Working in collaboration with local universities and enterprises, they have subsequently collected the head forms of more than 2,000 volunteers, aged from 18 to 70, using a 360-degree rotary non-contact head and face scanners.

With the completion of the first phase of this project, PolyU researchers have come up with five standard head forms of ethnic Chinese after analyzing massive data with statistical tools. These results will prove to be extremely useful for industrial designer in creating the next generation of perfect-fitting consumer products for Chinese.
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