Designing 3D-Printed Smart-Sole Shoes for the Elderly: Examining Appearance Acceptance in Hong Kong
Authors: Ling Cheung, Roger K.P. NG, Simon Chow, Jim Luk, Rainbow Lee
Abstract: The continuously evolving technology has driven researchers' investigation into integrating 3-Dimensional (3D) printing and smart functions into footwear. Comfortability has been identified as a crucial factor in creating shoe soles. Thus, numerous studies have been conducted to focus on the development of comfortable and functional footwear. Recent research has indicated that a prototype should be adapted in designing footwear to meet the expectations of older people, taking into consideration factors such as aesthetics and comfort. Of particular concern, the appearance of footwear is the top consideration for older women. Notably, their preferences revolve around the combination of shoe colours, fabric materials, patterns, shapes, heel height, and functional design features.This research aims to investigate the footwear appearance preferences of elderly individuals in Hong Kong, laying the foundation for designing and developing comfortable 3D-printed midsole smart sole shoes. A total of 50 healthy male and female subjects aged 50 and over will be recruited to complete a shoe aesthetics survey. The survey, consisting of 50 questions, will delve into the participants' subjective evaluations of shoe design aesthetics and the willingness to adopt the prototype. It will be divided into five parts, which will analyze the design of shoe faces, including colour, materials, fastening mechanism, heel height, and shoe styles for the elderly in the fashion market.The research will reveal the footwear appearance preferences of elderly individuals in Hong Kong, highlighting their design requirements. The survey results will aid in designing and developing comfortable 3D-printed midsole smart sole shoes for older people. Through the participants' expressions of design requirements on shoe aesthetics, further development in footwear design will be required to meet the needs of elderly individuals in terms of aesthetics and comfort. This study emphasizes the critical consideration of shoe aesthetics as a significant parameter in footwear design for older people.This research seeks to investigate the footwear appearance preferences of elderly individuals in Hong Kong to develop comfortable 3D-printed midsole smart sole shoes. By analyzing the participants' design requirements on shoe aesthetics, the findings will aid footwear manufacturers in developing shoes that meet the design preferences of elderly individuals, thereby improving their comfort and style. This study highlights the significance of considering shoe aesthetics as a crucial parameter in footwear design for the elderly population. Ultimately, the successful development of comfortable and stylish shoes can promote increased mobility and enhance the quality of life for this demographic group.
Keywords: 3D Printing, Older People Footwear, Appearance Acceptance, Comfort, Hong Kong, Footwear Design
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