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Augmented reality lets climbers play real-life video game

By Joss Davidge

Rock climbing can be a tough but addictive sport. Whether it’s taking on a challenging indoor wall or scaling a cliff side, it’s unquestionably a physical and mental challenge.

But for some people, what might have been missing from the sport is a competitive element, as typically a climber’s main competitor is themselves. That is until now.

Perfectly blending sport and technology, Brooklyn Boulders gym has used augmented reality to turn rock climbing into a highly competitive game.

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Partnering with programmers Randori, Brooklyn Boulders has launched an augmented reality program that transforms an ordinary climbing wall into a real-life video game.

The Time Trial game is the first of its kind in the world and debuted at Brooklyn Boulders’ gym in Somerville, USA.  

The innovative game assigns points that participants rack up as they free-climb up the wall. The goal is to hit specific holds on the wall while also being the first to the top. A projector throws the numbers up on the wall, so climbers can actually see the points they want to get. Visual and audio cues then tell them when they’ve acquired the points.

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Just like a real video game, once their time is up, individuals’ scores are logged on a digital leaderboard, encouraging people to go back again and again in an effort to get to the top.

One of the best features about the game is its simplicity, requiring only the use of a laptop/computer and a projector. Its launch at Brooklyn Boulders Somerville has been so successful that the creators are now looking to roll out the game to other climbing gyms across the US.

See participants ‘take on the wall’:

It’s yet another example of why augmented reality technology is such a powerful and effective way to enhance brand experiences.

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