Climbing walls on their own can be great fun, if not exhausting. Augmented reality gaming, that is, games that require you to interact with everyday objects is an innovative way to get you away from the console. What about if you combine the two?
That's exactly what Valo Motion has done, and installed the first working augmented climbing wall in Finland. The system is made up of a few components, including an Optoma X605 projector with 6,000 lumens lens, an Xbox Kinect to provide the motion tracking, which works with Valo Motion's own algorithms and an Intel-powered PC to run the software.
Games can be either one or two player, and they include Climball, which is climbing wall version of the classic game Pong and Spark. Spark is a one-player game that projects a constantly rotating triangle onto the wall, it's your job to climb around to stay inside the triangle, if you go outside it, you lose.
The motion tracking system is relatively versatile in terms of placement, as it can either be mounted on a pylon with adjustable reach and tilt, or it can mounted to the wall or ceiling. Valo Motion is also confident the touchscreen interface to get the system up and running is simple enough for children to use it, as well as adults.
You don't need to have a wall of any particular size to use the system, as it can be adjusted to fit whatever space you have. Dr Raine Kajastila, the man behind the augmented climbing wall said: "Even small walls can have hundreds of distinct routes and games that create new, fun challenges for climbers."
The augmented climbing wall system has been adopted all over the world, and is installed in centres in Norway, Sweden, Russia, Finland, Germany, Canada, the USA, South Korea and the UK.