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Timeline -

2 weeks

Tools Used - 

Figma
Adobe_Photoshop
google-docs

My Role in my Team - 

Problem Synthesis, Understanding users, Data gathering, Data Analysis, Brainstorming, storyboarding, Low Fidelity Prototypes, Evaluation, and Testing.

Problem Statement

"How might we use current technology to improve the equipment for visually impaired chess players, thereby enhancing their chess-playing experience in competitions?"

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Indiana University - Research

Product: Chess Connect

Reimagining Chess for 

Visually Impaired

Chess, a game of the mind, relies heavily on visual cues from the pieces and players. Removing these cues can significantly disrupt the game.

 

While many aspects of life have evolved with technology, certain areas remain overlooked—such as chess for the visually impaired. Despite the widespread use of technology, visually impaired chess players still depend on traditional boards. This report investigates the ongoing challenges faced by visually impaired players and explores how technology can provide solutions, ensuring a smooth transition that minimally disrupts their current methods.

THE PROBLEM: Lack of updated equipment for Visually Impaired chess players

THE SOLUTION: A tangible device with an inbuilt move tracker and audio input

IMPACT:  Help visually impaired chess players have a seamless, consistent game of chess

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Research

DESK RESEARCH

01

The supplementary rules for chess games involving visually impaired and sighted players, designed to adapt and complement FIDE Rules. These rules specify the use of specially constructed boards for visually impaired players, the clear and unique announcement of moves using specific names for pieces, and a specially designed chess clock. [Reference]

 

It also outlines procedures for correcting mistakes and allows visually impaired players to have assistants who can perform various game-related tasks. These rules aim to ensure that visually impaired players can engage in competitive chess games alongside sighted players, enhancing accessibility and fairness in such matches while accommodating the unique needs of visually impaired participants. [Reference]

Research Analysis

02

After reading several articles and conversing with a few individuals, we have gathered crucial insights to establish a strong foundation for our project.

PAIN POINTS

  1. Difficulty noting down moves

  2. Tracking opponents move

  3. Keeping track of both the boards

  4. Misinterpreting moves and mispronouncing moves.

  5. Time consuming

  6. Distracting with all the different steps involved

USER REQUIREMENTS

  1. Audible Move Announcements

  2. Motion Detection

  3. Vocal Commands

  4. Placements and Reversibility

  5. Minimized Misinterpretation

  6. Time Efficiency

  7. User-Friendly and Non-Distracting

In conclusion, the established supplementary rules for chess games involving visually impaired players and their sighted counterparts are a commendable effort to promote inclusivity and accessibility in the game of chess. These rules, while well-intentioned, address some of the pain points experienced by visually impaired players, such as difficulties in noting down moves, tracking opponents, and handling the complexities of a physical board.


However, there is room for improvement, which is where the user requirements for an audio-assisted chess set come into play. These user requirements emphasize the importance of technology in addressing the challenges visually impaired players face, including the need for audible move announcements, motion detection, vocal commands, and streamlining the gaming process. By implementing these user requirements in chess sets, it is possible to create a more efficient, user-friendly, and non-distracting gaming experience, ultimately enhancing the inclusivity of chess for visually impaired individuals. These requirements highlight the potential for technology to further bridge the gap and provide an accessible platform for all chess enthusiasts, regardless of their visual abilities.

Design Solution

03

Developing a tactile haptic feedback system that can capture players' moves and automatically record them, simultaneously providing real-time move announcements to prevent confusion and errors.

IMAGINE A SCENARIO

Storyboard_Chess

Our solution comprises two chess boards equipped with motion detection and voice command capabilities, and two controllers offering voice command, vibration, sound patterns, and additional features, all interconnected through a dedicated app.

Here's how our solution works, broken down into steps:

  1. Connection: Both chess boards and controllers are connected through Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or other compatible connecting methods.

  2. Move Tracking: Players' moves are continuously tracked and recorded on both their respective devices.

  3. Time Management: To keep players aware of the time without interrupting their gameplay, a periodic vibration pattern is employed.

  4. Move Navigation: With moves already tracked and recorded by the controllers, players can conveniently navigate and review their previous moves as needed.

Prototype

04

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THE PROTOTYPE

Voice
Confirmation

2

Auto moves
Record

1

Play
History

3

We performed a series of assessments, engaged in conversations with several specialists, and received some valuable feedback.

Evaluation

05

EVALUATION

  1. Rather than developing a separate device, consider integrating the timer into the controller. This could involve connecting to the other player through magnetic attraction or traditional wired connections.​

    2. To enhance the experience for visually impaired players, explore how technology, like            noise-canceling headphones, can be used to reduce distractions effectively.

    3. To gain deeper insights, it would be beneficial to conduct comprehensive research by          directly engaging with visually impaired chess players.

    4. Incorporate technology that relies on vibration and sound patterns compatible with              the needs and preferences of visually impaired individuals.

In conclusion, our recommendations aim to improve the accessibility and overall experience of chess for visually impaired individuals. By integrating timers into the controller, we can enhance convenience and streamline the game. Additionally, exploring the use of noise-canceling headphones to minimize distractions demonstrates a commitment to making the game more inclusive.

Refelction

06

Chess is a game that is quite personal to me. I was taught chess by my dad and his brother when I was 10 years old and have been in love with this game ever since. The first thing I was ever taught is to never take my eyes off the board and keep track of all the blind spots. A simple trick move from the opponent can cause you the game if not attentive enough. 

While working on this project, I myself tried blind chess, and failed terribly. Only then I realised how difficult the game actually is. 

who made this project a success.

MEET THE TEAM

Meet the team

fin.

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