Research>Digital Human for Human Centered Design

On Demand Bodywear based on Digital Human Models

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Period of Large, Inter-Generational Differences
OnDemand01.jpg In advanced countries, stature has been increasing rapidly along with nutritional improvements after the world wars. Even in Japan, taller young men with the height of 190cm and shorter women with the height of 140cm live together. We are now facing large, inter-generational differences that humans have never seen before. People's body shapes are very diversified, so that mass-produced goods can not accommodate everyone. We are advancing research to design bodywears that allow for the variations of the human body by measuring body shapes, and/or by designing products that fit various body shape and consumer tastes.
Human Body Measurement Technique

In order to measure human body shapes, we need a system that can measure the whole body including body parts such as the inner thigh, the armpit, the area behind the ears, the soles of feet, etc., with high accuracy and precision. The measurements must be swift and uninfluenced by body movement. For this reason, we developed a high-speed scanner that will minimize hidden areas. Also, the scanner needs to be compact and low-priced so it may be used to measure a person's body shape at a store front. For this reason, a low-priced and portable foot shape scanner was developed in collaboration with a private company.

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Human Body Shape Model

By itself, raw measurement data is just a collection of points. For this collection to be handled as human data, human anatomical information needs to be added. Consequently, based on the anatomical landmarks, everyone may be depicted with homologous shape models consisting of corresponding points and geometric structures. As a result, it will be easier to compare individual differences.

It will be possible to describe the differences between modeled human body shapes using spatial distortion (Free Form Deformation technique) and to individually modify product shapes using the distortion function. (Patent Number 3106177)

"Di+", a foot shape modeling software, and "KMK-Darcii", the software to be used for product shape transformation by formulating individual differences of modeled human body shape as spatial distortion, are currently available for a fee.



Statistical Analysis of 3-D Forms

Shape distribution maps visualize the distance relationships between individuals calculated based on a homologous shape model. Also, it is possible to synthesize the mean shapes positioned at the middle of the distribution maps and virtual shapes that are positioned on the periphery of the distribution maps.

"Human Body Statistica" is software that calculates shape distribution maps from homologous models of the human body and calculates virtual shapes on the distribution maps. It is currently available for a fee.

Shape Model

Production is not completed just by producing simulations within digital space. The actual materialization of mean shapes as physical models is needed. For this reason, we are developing human body models, such as new dressmaking dummies and models for eyeglass fit evaluation, that have soft material at the nose and the parts above ears with compliance similar to that of the human skin.

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Application for Product Design

The human body shape modeling techniques are useful to improve compatibility of products that fit directly on the body. We are conducting collaborative studies with manufacturers of sports shoes, eyeglass frames, knee supporters, gas masks, and acoustic systems. For example, in a collaboration study with an eyeglass frame manufacturer, we measured and modeled the face shapes of more than 50 Japanese males, calculated the distribution map, and classified the subjects into 4 groups. The mean shape of each group was brought into a CAD system and eyeglass frames that fit each of them were developed. This frame has been commercially available as the "Co-Co-Chi" brand.


Human Body Shape Database
We are considering the building of a huge human body shape database by measuring customers' body shapes at storefronts and compiling them. We are developing automated technology and techniques to improve reliability so that even untrained clerks can measure body shapes and have sufficient measurement accuracy guaranteed.
Currently, in collaboration studies with research institutions abroad, we are constructing the international foot form database that contains approximately 5,000 samples of foot shape data. By making this database available to shoe related manufacturers, we are planning to develop a system in which the data will be collected from measurement systems installed at storefronts.
Marketing Techniques
In addition to shaping to fit, items designed to be worn must also consider the fashion preferences of the customers. By using the physical, measured quantities of a face and that of the eyeglass frame, we are developing a predictable Kansei model to see how an observer's impression of a face changes when the subject is wearing different eyeglass frames.

  1. M. Mochimaru, M. Kouchi: On-demand customization of bodywear based on the personal digital body, The Technical Report of The Institute of Electronics, Information and Communication Engineers, Communication Quality 2003-114, Multimedia and Virtual Environment 2003-105, pp.39-42, 2004. (In Japanese with English abstract)
  2. M. Mochimaru, M. Kouchi: On-demand custom products based on individual digital bodies, Journal of the Virtual Reality Society of Japan, 8 (4): 407-412, 2003. (In Japanese with English summary)