A systematic review on ear anthropometry and its industrial design applications

Fang Fu, Yan Luximon (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Ergonomics is extensively studied to provide a scientific understanding of humans’ physical and cognitive use of products and workplaces. Ergonomics of the external ear is crucial for the industrial design of various ear-related products. For this review, 50 articles regarding ear anthropometry and its applications in product design that met determined inclusion criteria were selected after searching four databases, including Scopus, Web of Science, PubMed, and Science Direct. Previous anthropometric information acquired with traditional measurement, photogrammetric method, and three dimensional (3D) anthropometric techniques (photogrammetry, magnetic resonance imaging, computerized tomography, 3D scanning, and ear impression). Those studies demonstrated that demographic factors, including age, ethnicity, gender, and ear symmetry, should be considered when designing for specific markets. Ear sizes kept growth throughout the entire lifetime. Results also showed that males had larger ear sizes than females in most populations. Most of linear, area, and ratio dimensions showed a good symmetry between left and right ears, while angular dimensions tended to be nonsymmetric. Differences in anthropometric findings existed among Asian, Western, and African populations. Hence, there is a need to establish more universal anthropometric databases for different ethnicities to meet the development of product form and function. Furthermore, fit and comfort perception was important to be examined for product design, which can be studied through questionnaire on comfort perception, analysis online comments of consumers, and virtual fit analysis. With a comprehensive presentation of literature, future research opportunities were inspired from the perspective of industrial design.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-194
Number of pages19
JournalHuman Factors and Ergonomics In Manufacturing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020


  • ear anthropometry
  • ear modeling
  • ergonomic application
  • industrial design
  • systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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