Dense 3D pressure discomfort threshold (PDT) map of the human head, face and neck: A new method for mapping human sensitivity

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Abstract

When designing wearables that interface with the human head, face and neck, designers and engineers consider human senses, ergonomics and comfort. A dense 3D pressure discomfort threshold map could be helpful, but does not exist yet. Differences in pressure discomfort threshold for areas of the head, neck and face were recorded, to create a 3D pressure discomfort threshold map.

Between 126 and 146 landmarks were placed on the left side of the head, face and neck of twenty-eight healthy participants (gender balanced). The positions of the landmarks were specified using an EEG 10–20 system-based landmark-grid on the head and a self-developed grid on the face and neck. A 3D scan was made to capture the head geometry and landmark coordinates. In a randomised order, pressure was applied on each landmark with a force gauge until the participant indicated experiencing discomfort. By interpolating all collected pressure discomfort thresholds based on their corresponding 3D coordinates, a dense 3D pressure discomfort threshold map was made.

A relatively low-pressure discomfort threshold was found in areas around the nose, neck front, mouth, chin-jaw, cheek and cheekbone, possibly due to the proximate or direct location of nerves, blood veins and soft (muscular) tissue. Medium pressure discomfort was found in the neck back, forehead and temple regions. High pressure discomfort threshold was found in the back of the head and scalp, where skin is relatively thin and closely supported by bone, making these regions interesting for mounting or resting head, face and neck related equipment upon.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103919
Number of pages12
JournalApplied Ergonomics
Volume107
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023

Funding

Crescent Med supported this study by making man hours available. This study was partly financed by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) (project number: 18636).

Keywords

  • Comfort
  • Digital human modelling
  • 3D scanning
  • Wearables
  • Pressure ulcers

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