Aston University helps shape the nation

3D body scan study
Representation of 11-year-old boy in 1978 compared to 11-year-old in 2010

01 February 2013

Childrenswear designers and retailers will be able to make better fitting clothes for British children thanks to a major body shape survey undertaken in conjunction with Aston University.

The 3D data helped provide the basis of the new shape GB Childrens Sizing Report launched this week by Alvanon, the world’s leading body shape analyst and supplier of technical fit mannequins and Select research, Europes foremost sizing Research Company.

The Shape GB report is the result of a collaborative project between Alvanon, Select Research, six of the UKs leading childrenswear retailers; George at ASDA, M&S, Monsoon, Next, Shop Direct group and Tesco to develop a de-facto working standard for sizing clothes for British Children.

The aim of Shape GB was to provide a clear representation of the changing shape of the UK’s children aged from four to 17 years old compared to the last published data from the British Standards Institute in 1990. The 1990 standard was developed from measurements collected in 1978.

 More than 2, 500 children across England, Scotland and Wales were measured using a 3D scanner to provide updated insight into childrens body shape and size. The scanner has a series of 16 sensors and 32 cameras and is able to create a virtual body image.  The software measured the height and density in various parts of the body collecting nearly 200 hundred measurements automatically in under six seconds.

Professor Ian Nabney, Head of Computer Science and Mathematics at Aston, led the University’s participation in the project which assimilated the computer details from the 3D body scanner.

Richard Barnes, Managing Director of Select Research, said;we are thankful to Aston University for sharing their computing expertise, which contributed a great deal in helping us interpret the data collected and in turn allowed us to reach this important development for the childrenswear and clothing industry.  The new 3D data presents fresh insight into childrens body shape, considering the changes that have occurred in the last 20 years, and thanks to the sponsors and academics collaborators  we are now able to understand the changes that  boys and girls go through  as they grow , when these changes occur and most importantly how we can manage them.

Additional collaborators during the data collection phase for 3D scanning of children included the University of Hertfordshire, University of Hull, Loughborough University and Manchester Metropolitan University.

The report will be available through the Shape GB website www.shapegb.org   at the end of February. 

For further media information please contact Eva Tabora, Aston University Communications on 0121 204 4294


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