menu

Indoor Rock Wall Incorporates Projected Graphics for Augmented Climbing

Design

An augmented-reality climb helps everyone from experienced rock climbers to kids

Rachel Pincus
  • 22 august 2014

Rock climbing is one of those indoor sports that a lot of people could benefit from, but that has some major barriers to entry. Aside from all the fancy gym-based equipment you need if you don’t live in a natural climbing area, the sport presents both a physical and an intellectual challenge, with bouldering — climbing without a harness — ranking as one of the more intense ways to go about it.

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 11.29.49 PM.png

Bouldering paths on artificial walls are appropriately referred to as ‘problems,’ and they are usually color-coded with a piece of tape, but what if you want to go off the beaten path, or just focus on climbing without having to crane your neck up? Technology can help, as a group of Media Technology researchers at Aalto University in Finland have demonstrated. Using a Kinect sensor and a projector, they’ve developed a form of ‘augmented climbing’ that helps gamify the experience and keeps climbers on their toes.

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 11.30.20 PM.png

The system, which was tested on a group of students, offers a variety of ways to climb while also collecting a considerable range of data that can be used by future participants. New ‘problems’ can be defined with a well-drawn path or a handprint mark, if you don’t want to make it look like you’re on the bunny slope. The system offers video replay, which is perfect for reflecting upon and improving one’s own technique.

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 11.30.05 PM.png

Additionally, fun animations that react to the borders of your body — the designers used an animated chainsaw — can make the experience into more of a game.

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 11.30.34 PM.png

For the time being, the technology limits the researchers to a bouldering wall, which is about 4m high. Though one of the benefits mentioned by the researchers is maximizing the bouldering wall’s capacity, in that one wall can contain multiple routes, future tracking technologies might allow this system to be usable with a wider range of walls and in actual gyms. (They are working on such an installation right now). Aside from noticing the limitations with the current Kinect, the researchers are agnostic about what technologies will serve their purposes in the future, which include the following:

1) detecting what body parts touch the holds,
2) detecting when the climber occludes
relevant projected graphics,
3) tracking COM [center of mass] (e.g., for detecting falling),
4) robust skeletal tracking of climbing moves for detailed analysis and feedback, although many interactions can be implemented only using
features 1-3.

Julia Smith, a rock-climbing enthusiast living in Las Vegas, was enthused by the project’s potential to get people in the door. “I see a lot of birthday parties in climbing gyms, for example, and there are a lot of games they could play using [these elements],” she said. “I can also see how augmented climbing could be used by more experienced climbers for training purposes as well.”

[h/t] TechCrunch

Design
Trending

How Indiegogo Is Becoming An Adult Product Destination

Retail
Home Yesterday

Watch This Fire Pit Dance Along To Your Favorite Song

Music City Fire is a system that is designed to flicker in time to ambient music

Automotive Yesterday

Slick GPS Navigator Gives Directions To Moped Riders

This small, round device attaches to a sideview mirror to display maps for safer traveling

Trending

Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Home Yesterday

A Clock That Beautifully Manages Your Information Overload

The wall-mounted timekeeper is made to help people maintain focus and stay up to date with their appointments

Arts & Culture Yesterday

Performance Piece Blends Dancers Into Folds Of Light

The work provides commentary on the increasing connection between programmed and analog dimensions

Related Expert

Claire Mazur

Connects & Empowers Emerging Talent

Design & Architecture Yesterday

Design Firm Adapts Childhood Homes For Unemployed Young Adults

The studio has unveiled three prototypes of transformed living spaces for people forced to move back in with their families

Health Yesterday

These Chocolate Squares Claim To Reverse The Aging Process

A group of researchers from Cambridge University have developed a candy bar that promises to give you a youthful glow

Cities Yesterday

Food-Producing Architecture Competition Seeks To Better Feed Cities

A design challenge in Copenhagen highlights the need and beauty of urban farming

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed september 21, 2016

Everything I Know About Leadership I Learned Teaching 7th Grade Math

Bree Groff, Managing Director at NOBL NYC, shares her secrets for knowing your employees and enabling a team

PSFK Labs september 22, 2016

The Future Of Work: Why Innovation Is Every Employee’s Job

PSFK Labs sits down with management at Johnson & Johnson to learn how the company comes up with their next ‘big idea’

Health Yesterday

Wearable Monitors Sun Exposure To Prevent Sunburn

The clip monitors UV rays to make sure you're not receiving too much sunlight

Op-Ed Yesterday

Productivity Expert: The Magic Of The Five-Hour Workday

Stephan Aarstol, Founder of Tower Paddle Boards, explains why the modern notion of office hours needs to evolve

Culture Yesterday

This Exhibition’s Crowning Jewel Is An 18k Gold-Plated Toilet

The piece, titled 'America,' is meant to raise questions about the country's wealth inequality

Culture Yesterday

Match Up With Dates On Tinder Based On Your Music Preferences

A new partnership with Spotify lets people pair up based on shared tastes in artists

Entertainment Yesterday

Capture, Cut Up, And Configure Your World In 360 Degrees

To meet a booming 360 and VR video-capturing industry, a multimedia software company bolstered its media editing suite for 360-video creation

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

Advertising Yesterday

These Trucks Drove Around In Circles For 24 Hours To Keep Time

The giant ticking clock was created by 14 Scania vehicles in a deserted airfield

Advertising Yesterday

Buy Movie Tickets Directly From Your Facebook Profile

The new feature is part of a campaign from Fandango to further imbed social media into the ticket vendor's digital presence

Asia Yesterday

Co-Working Space Brings The Calming Atmosphere Of Nature Indoors

An architectural firm in China has designed a new type of shared office that prioritizes the natural environment

No search results found.