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New Tech Tool, Kinobi, Will Teach You Yoga So Your Yoga Teacher Doesn’t Have To

in In Class, YD News

Obi Wan Yogi? Out of luck, these new yoga teachers will be.

When you’re practicing yoga how do you know you’re doing it right? Is what the makers of Kinobi wants us all to ask ourselves. Their newfangled technology, when hooked up to the sensory gadgetry of Microsoft Kinect, will help you figure out those pesky yoga poses and avoid the embarrassment of looking like an amateur in class. n00bs.

Along the lines of the high-tech tank top that will some day replace your yoga teacher, this magic device will monitor your movement and let you know when you’re doing it wrong. Hopefully not with a chiding remarks and a self-esteem tongue-lashing! We have Bikram and BKS Iyengar for that. Oh, we kid the yoga masters.

Company founder Chapman Snowdan says he and the team originally developed the tool for training teachers in classroom management, but realized that they could apply their idea to other skills like yoga, dance and martial arts, always the first victims.

“When I was a kid, I tried everything,” Chapman says. “But as I got older, I tried fewer and fewer thing.” The reason, he says, is that he didn’t want to embarrass himself in public. He wanted more individualized instruction. If you go to a yoga class, you get a one-size-fits-all class. Kinobi will monitor all your moves and give you individualized feedback from the privacy of your own home.

As of now Obi Wan only works with major muscle movements, but Captain Chapman envisions a world where capturing fine motor movements will be precise enough for teaching surgery. So you better not be grimacing in Warrior III, people. They can see it. This is sort of the perfect seedling idea for a yoga horror movie, no?

If you are still utterly confused, this Q&A with TechCrunch may help a tiny bit:

Q: What, besides yoga, are prime candidates for this? Learning a golf swing seems pretty addressable.

A: Yoga and dance and seem like the biggests immediate opportunities.

Q: Is there a big enough market for something like this, compared to going to a physical place where there are a lot of people who are encouraging you?

A: P90X proves there is a market for people who want to learn at home and in private, but what kinobi is trying to address is the need for a live instructor.

Q: But it’s not really live, it’s pre-recorded?

A: Yes, the instructional content is pre-recorded but the feedback from Kinobi is live.

Q: When people started producing exercise DVDs people were cynical about whether people would exercise at home and they’ve been proven wrong. There’s no question that this is where exercise is going, maybe it’s not going to be you but it’s going to be something more interactive than a dvd. But is it enough to build a platform, or do you need to create something like p90x yourself?

A: Kinobi will make sure to have high quality content, the brand will depend on the quality.

Q: couldn’t you still have a live instructor?

A: You could use this to record a video and give it to an instructor for feedback, but Kinobi keeps you from having to have the instructor live.

At home practice just got a whole lot more attractive and/or extremely annoying.



8 comments… add one
  • Vision_Quest2

    Now, nearly anybody without an ounce of body awareness or kinesthetic intelligence will be able to do asana practice at home. I, personally lose my home court advantage on that one … ;-]

    Now, they have to invent some machine that interactively reads your mind/mood and gives you the everchanging New Age patter of a live yoga instructor …

    Or, was it really “yoga” you were talking about … ?

  • NCDan

    Call me a luddite if you wish, but this makes me feel creepy. I’ll stick to live instructors. (Full disclosure: I’ve been teaching yoga for 10 years. I still love to go to other teacher’s classes.)

  • d

    someone is going to get hurt and quickly. There is no universal perfect asana.

  • Something else that promotes Yoga as only asana practice …

  • I have to agree with ‘d’ on this one. I’ve practiced for over ten years and something tells me I would fail at this game. Every ‘body’ is different, and a lot of what a yoga teacher does (or should do) is listen, read, and guide by intuition.

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