SpineAlignIcon

Webcam based posture correction

MacAppStoreBadgeSpine Align uses your FaceTime camera to alert you when your posture hunches over.

Download: Version 2.0 – 14.4MB

 

Current version 2.0, Mac OS X 10.11+ (El Capitan).

 

Spine Align is a simple menu bar app that uses your webcam to help prevent hunching over at your computer. It estimates the distance from your face to the screen. When you get too close to the screen, Spine Align will alert you to move back again.

All MacBooks and iMacs come with a built in iSight/FaceTime camera which is ideal for monitoring your posture.

 

SpineAlign

Simple setup

SpineAlignScreen

Adjust monitor and webcam

SpineAlignFace

Sit up straight

SpineAlignOn

Turn on

Nowadays we spend a lot of time working at computers. This can lead to hunching over, particularly when using laptops. The neck has a tendency to extend forwards over time which can lead to neck and back pain. A lot of the time we don’t notice we are even moving forwards. It can be hard work constantly remembering to reset your posture.

Spine Align is here to help! It does the monitoring for you, so you can concentrate on everything else. By monitoring the distance of your face to the screen, it can limit the effects of extending your neck and help to prevent bad posture.

More tips on how to sit correctly can be found here.

 

FAQs

Spine Align uses face recognition to determine your distance to the screen. For best results ensure that the webcam/screen is pointing directly at your face and the room is well lit. You can check this is correct using Photo Booth or another program that uses the webcam.

If you wear glasses, the reflection in the lens can sometimes cause issues. If you try without glasses it may be more successful.

Tilting your face can cause make it more difficult to detect your face correctly. Ideally your face should always be up right when working at the computer. Hopefully in a future release Spine Align will be able to sense your distance regardless of your head orientation, and also let you know when you may be tilting your head.

There is a small chance that the technology will not work well in your situation. If none of the above works for you, then please request a refund (see below). Also I would love to hear from you so that I can improve the technology for future versions.

As Spine Align uses the webcam for face recognition, privacy is a key concern. Therefore, Spine Align has been designed to respect your privacy. The webcam images are processed locally, on your own computer, nothing is sent or received through the internet at all. The images are only used for processing, so they are not even saved anywhere.
Spine Align only checks your distance to the screen every 5s or so. Each time it does so, it takes only a short amount of processing time. Spine Align isn’t doing much for the rest of the time. As such the impact of Spine Align on battery usage is not too much. CPU usage is normally around 10%, which is about half as much as playing a video in Safari, and is not enough to make the fans spin up.
Spine Align will only issue one alert for every time you are too close to the screen. So if you are too close for an entire minute, it will only sound an alert once. It can be a bit much when it alerts every second.

All modern MacBooks and iMacs comes with a built in iSight/FaceTime camera which can be used with Spine Align. For other systems (Mac Mini and Mac Pro) an external webcam will be needed. If you are using an Apple screen from 2008 or later, they will have a built in webcam. I haven’t managed to test every combination of computer and webcam, but if you can use apps like FaceTime, then Spine Align should work fine.

Turning your head to the side, or tilting up and down can reduce the accuracy of Spine Align. Therefore, Spine Align is best suited to be used on a single monitor with a built in iSight/FaceTime camera, so that the camera faces you. However, it can be used with dual monitors as well.

If the monitors are stacked one above the other then it should still work fine. If the monitors are side by side, Spine Align may not work as intended, depending on where the camera is pointing.

Try removing the preferences file which is located at:

~/Library/Preferences/com.richard-stanton.Spine-Align.plist

Where ~ is your user home folder. Then restart Spine Align.

If the problems persist please contact me!

At present Spine Align only works with the default camera, which is usually the built in iSight camera. The ability to switch which camera to uses will be launched in a future release.

I’m sorry that Spine Align hasn’t worked in your situation. To get a refund this page from Apple has instructions:

What is the Mac App Store refund policy?

If you experience a technical issue with an app, first contact the developer of the app for assistance. Their support contact information can be found on the app’s page in the Mac App Store. If that does not resolve the issue, contact Mac App Store Customer Support.

Refunds are available up to 90 days after purchase.

Apple’s process isn’t entirely clear, but there is a better guide available on the process here.

 

 

If your question isn’t answered by any of the above, please use the comments below or please contact me.

  • Pingback: Introducing Spine Align | Richard Stanton()

  • gwil

    Hi there Richard. Is there a demo I can try? This looks like the perfect thing for me as a video editor. I just found Nekoza but stopped using that after a day since it uses 90% CPU! Is there any chance of a trial before dropping 6.99 pounds?

    • http://www.richard-stanton.com stanton119

      Hi,
      I don’t have a demo version available, but send me an email and I’ll try help out: richard@richard-stanton.com
      Compared to Nekoze, on my machine, Spine Align uses about 1/3 of the CPU power.

      Richard