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

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.

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.

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