Are you itching to get your climb on when the temperature drops outside? Or are you looking for a full body exercise experience you can also take the whole family to? If you can’t scale boulders and mountainsides but want to feel like you are, the Augmented Climbing Wall created by Valo Motion, a game developer and hardware manufacturer from Finland, has an indoor climbing experience you absolutely need to try.
The Augmented Climbing Wall uses a heavy duty computer, a depth sensor, and a high-powered video projector, with games and apps for their rock walls. The projector, sensor, and computer work together to transmit the active apps and games onto the rock wall, essentially transforming it into an interactive touchscreen. There’s no AR, MR, or VR headset to wear, which is what we’d hope for when climbing to such great heights without wearing a safety harness.
If you didn’t make it to ISE 2018 on February 6-9th for a demo of the rock wall, there are over 30 countries and counting where fitness fans can use the Augmented Climbing Wall internationally. Locations include but are not limited to France, Spain, Germany, the UK, Benelux, Canada, China, and Thailand after their partnership with Valo Motion and Entre-Prises.
The interactive climbing wall can be found at 12 select locations around the United States. Sky Zone Sioux Falls in South Dakota is the newest venue to install the Augmented Climbing Wall as an attraction for their trampoline park.
The Augmented Climbing Wall is perfect for beginners and experienced climbers depending on the size and type of rock wall that is installed inside the arcade, climbing gym, commercial gym, or entertainment venue that is hosting the experience. Beginning climbers will benefit from climbing a shorter wall for a first experience, while more experienced climbers can start scaling on much taller walls. This gamified rock wall is great physical and mental challenge for active kids and ambitious adults to climb around the wall as they play a game like Astromania.
Depending on the venue, there might be safety harnesses or none at all. Most venues add extra safety precautions by installing floor padding or placing gym mats to the floor beneath the wall to prevent impact injuries if a visitor falls. Please note that there is no age limit for the product as a whole and you will need to talk to participating venues about age and health requirements.
Indoor and outdoor rock climbing will get your heart thumping from balancing and holding up your own bodyweight as you move up or down a wall or cliff (hello, cardio!). Major muscle groups like the upper body, legs, and core are going to be strengthened. The hands and fingers will be used to hold onto grips, so you might get a few blisters too. Health Fitness Revolution reports that a 155-pound person can burn up to 800 plus calories per hourly climbing session.
Astromania: Use the hands to grip onto climbing holds while you use your free hand and legs to hit or kick meteors before they fall to Earth. Astromania is a great coordination and full body conditioning game that is a great starter game for new or inexperienced climbers but is also a fun game for climbers with more time on the wall.
Whack-a-Bat: Quickly climb your way around the rock wall as you splat bats hiding in trees and flying through the air with your hands and feet. Compete with friends to see who can get a higher bat count. This is a great endurance game that will work the entire body as you hold yourself up and maneuver around the wall. Making your way up and down the wall is going keep your muscles trembling!
Augmented Problems: This is a super interactive game that can be played by any level climber. Climbers can use pre-created routes or design their own on a local touchscreen device or computer. Trainers and skilled climbers can use this to design tough climbing sessions that will challenge balance, body positioning, strength, and stamina. Think Sylvester Stallone in Cliffhanger, except without the money or that epic helicopter scene.
Tip: Trainers can use video playback to overlay a climber’s movement during a session to get an instant replay.
Climball: This is the Augmented Climbing version of Pong in PvP mode and Protect the Ball in Co-op mode. Compete against another climber in Climball to keep the ball from hitting your side as you use your upper body and lower body to stabilize your body and hit the ball. When playing in Co-op, you’ll be teaming up with another player to keep the ball from escaping past the middle area. Holding these poses and then quickly reaching for other climbing holds is going to test your whole body (including your fingers and hands) in strength and endurance.
Sparks: Climbers of all levels can climb using challenges they create for themselves or are already pre-designed. Sparks will push you to reach for hand and foot holders and move your body dynamically in order to not touch the electricity/white outline that’s around you. Sparks’ route creation has been used to project a Finnish bouldering competition route with a level 6C difficulty onto a climbing wall for extra difficulty.
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