EUROFIT: Integration, Homogenisation and Extension of the Scope Anthropometric Data Stored in Large EU Pools

author: Juan Carlos González García, IBV – Biomechanics Institute of Valencia
published: July 16, 2012,   recorded: June 2012,   views: 53
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Over the last decades, human body metrics have been used to improve human-product interaction. Along this period, the use of 1D-measurements in “classic” ergonomic applications (e.g. workplace design) has been extended to consumer goods industries such as the automotive, apparel, furniture or orthopaedic sectors.

New technologies for the gathering, storage and analysis of anthropometric data (i.e. 3D scanners) have boosted the availability of digital anthropometric resources. Since 1999, over 16 large-scale national body scanning surveys have been conducted around the world (six in Europe) gathering 3D shape data from over 120,000 subjects (50,000 Europeans). The availability of these data pools has created the opportunity to exploit shape information beyond current 1D-measure use. However, these data pools are dispersed and heterogeneous (e.g. obtained through different scanning technologies and owned by different organisations) and, above all, the exploitation of 3D data at industry level requires knowledge, skills and resources beyond the means of companies, especially SMEs. These barriers have until now confined the use of existing 3D shape data to scientific research. Our overall aim is thus to implement an online platform and an open framework that enables:

  1. Designers and industrialists to draw useful shape information and use it in their product development processes in an easy and direct way
  2. Database owners to pool the data they already hold and obtain revenues from its exploitation
  3. Third party IT companies to develop new services to reuse pooled data in unforeseen ways R&D work will focus on the systematisation of proven methods for 3D shape data aggregation and analysis in a reliable but economically sustainable way, as well as the development of sector-specific applications and user-friendly interfaces. Project work will include the aggregation of 4 national databases and the running of a four-month demonstration by industrial end-users.

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