Eyes-Free Yoga

An accessible yoga coach for people who are blind or low-vision



To play Eyes-Free Yoga, you need a Kinect for Windows sensor VERSION 1. The Kinect is a horizontal device with a camera and sensors that can track a person in 3D. It also has a microphone and can recognize what someone is saying. For Eyes-Free Yoga, the Kinect can provide feedback for postures while someone is standing, and can listen to responses from the player. Read the Operating System and Hardware requirements to be able to use the Kinect. If you own a mac, please read this post before making any purchases.

Set up the Kinect
  1. Place the Kinect at least 4 feet off of the ground by placing it on a bookshelf or mantel.
  2. If there is no tall surface to place the Kinect, rotate the box that packaged the Kinect sensor so it is at it's tallest. Place this box on a table, and place the Kinect at the top of the box.
  3. The front of the Kinect will have 3 circular indents. The Kinect should face an open space (6 feet by 10 feet) so you have plenty of room to exercise safely.
  4. Once the Kinect has been placed, plug the power cable for the Kinect sensor into the wall.
  5. Plug the USB cable for the Kinect sensor into your computer's USB port. Your computer should automatically download and install the required files. This may take several minutes.

Install Eyes-Free Yoga
  1. Download the Eyes-Free Yoga installer here (approximately 1.2 gigabytes).
  2. Find the downloaded "eyesfreeyoga.zip" file, and right click on the file by pressing Shift+F10 or the Applications key. Select "extract all" and press enter. This will unzip the downloaded "eyesfreeyoga.zip" file.
  3. Open the "eyesfreeyoga" folder.
  4. Open the "Debug" folder.
  5. Run the "setup" file. This will guide you through a Wizard to install the program.
  6. The installation will take a few minutes. While installing if you receive a "User Account Control" window asking if you would like for the program to make changes to your computer, click "Yes."
  7. Upon completion, it will install the necessary files, create a shortcut on the Desktop, and place it in the Start Menu.
  8. Read the Instruction Manual here before running the program.
  9. The link will download the Instruction Manual as a Word Document.

Running Eyes-Free Yoga
Eyes-Free Yoga has to be run as an administrator. We will do this ONE TIME change so you can directly run the program on your computer.
  1. Right click on Eyes Free Yoga on the Desktop by pressing Shift+F10 or the Applications Key, and select Properties.
  2. Navigate to the "Compatibility" tab.
  3. Press tab until you hear "Run this program as an Administrator", and check the check box by pressing the Space Bar.
  4. Press tab until you hear the "Apply" button and press "Enter".
  5. Press tab until you hear the the "OK" button and press "Enter".
You can now run Eyes-Free Yoga directly from the Desktop or the Start Menu! If you receive a "User Account Control" window asking if you would like for the program to make changes to your computer, click "Yes."

If you have issues or questions, please email eyesfreeyoga@gmail.com and we'll be happy to help you out! We are not affiliated with or endorsed by Microsoft.

Acknowledgements

This work was completed with Roger Vilardaga, Cynthia Bennett, Kellie Lu, Leo Lansky, Richard Ladner and Julie Kientz. The yoga phrases would not be possible without yoga instructors Jerri Clark and Sally Mitchell. We thank yoga instructors Jamie Silverstein, Adrienne Kimberly, Kelliann Reginato, Molly Harrigan, Kat Selvocki, Sasha Parks, Matthew Tao, Mandy Morneault, and Andrea Cirignano. The Washington State School for the Blind also provided many resources for our study. Our research was funded by the Kynamatrix Innovation through Collaboration Grant, ARCS Foundation, and the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program. The University of Washington Human Subjects ethics board approved this research.

The Eyes-Free Yoga music was originally composed by:
We are not affiliated with or endorsed by the composer of this album. The album is played along with auditory badges and water provided by Freesound.org.

Publications

People who are blind or low vision may have a harder time participating in exercise classes due to inaccessibility, travel difficulties, or lack of experience. Exergames can encourage exercise at home and help lower the barrier to trying new activities, but there are often accessibility issues since they rely on visual feedback to help align body positions. To address this, we developed Eyes-Free Yoga, an exergame using the Microsoft Kinect that acts as a yoga instructor, teaches six yoga poses, and has customized auditory-only feedback based on skeletal tracking. We ran a controlled study with 16 people who are blind or low vision to evaluate the feasibility and feedback of Eyes-Free Yoga. We found participants enjoyed the game, and the extra auditory feedback helped their understanding of each pose. The findings of this work have implications for improving auditory-only feedback and on the design of exergames using depth cameras.

Full Paper: Rector, K., Bennett, C.L., Kientz, J.A. Eyes-Free Yoga: An Exergame Using Depth Cameras for Blind & Low Vision Exercise. ASSETS 2013.

How it Works

Using Kinect Skeletal Tracking and basic geometry, the Kinect can advise you to correct your body position. In Warrior II, her arms are at 45° and need to be raised to ≥ 80°.

Collaborators

Cynthia L. Bennett
Julie A. Kientz
Kyle Rector