Forget Your Fear of Heights with Augmented Climbing

Forget Your Fear of Heights with Augmented Climbing

Developers at Aalto University have created an “augmented climbing wall”, for motivating and instructing indoor wall climbing. Operating as a huge touch screen, it combines body tracking with custom computer vision software, a depth camera, and interactive projected graphics.

With augmented climbing, you can add new challenges, such as timing moves, evading moving obstacles, and climbing in all directions. The system also makes possible to have hundreds of climbing routes on a relatively small wall.

It has been installed in a commercial climbing centre, where it has been successfully used by hundreds of climbers, including both children and adults. Studying the behaviour of the wall’s user is revealing insights into how augmented technology can help us learn and develop.

The researchers have found that using the augmented climbing wall increases social interaction, helps to attract wider target audiences and empowers users to become content creators.

Interactive augmented visuals can increase the diversity of movements and challenges. Secondly, users can easily become content creators with a low risk. And thirdly, digital content can be procedurally generated for an endless gaming experience.
In one survey carried out by the researchers, 3 out of 50 respondents mentioned that the augmented climbing game made them forget their fear of heights!

A patent is pending for the augmented climbing wall technology and the climbing wall project is currently in a commercialisation phase, soon to be available globally.

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