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This Is the AR Rock Climbing Game You Didn’t Know You Love

2-23-2016 12-59-07 AM
A few months ago, we showed you a video made by Brooklyn Boulders of the gym’s Augmented Reality rock climbing wall. A coder created a program that turned the ordinary wall into a real-life video game, where you could rack up points as you scaled up and across the vertical face. Now, Brooklyn Boulders is working with the creator of the game, Jon Cheng (a member who runs his startup Randori) to implement it in their gyms.

2-23-2016 12-59-36 AM

It started when the gym let Cheng show off his idea, called Time Trial, at its monthly Community Night, where it hosts local startups. “Our team was stoked on the idea, and more than happy to give Jon whatever he needed to make Time Trial happen,” says Alex Graziano, the Marketing Manager at Brooklyn Boulders. “Our community instantly took to his creation.”

Time Trial assigns points that climbers rack up as they go up the wall—the goal is to hit the intended holds 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 tell them when they’ve acquired the points. It might sound—and look—complicated, but Time Trial really just consists of a laptop, projectors, and camera sensor. “We use a projector and a laptop connected to our cloud based platform to play. Once that’s all setup, gym staff can login to their account, pick a bouldering wall, and start projecting any game we have in our library,” says Cheng, who’s been climbing for about two years. Cheng’s system will recognize visual obstructions and automate a reaction, which will trigger all the effects in real life. “In essence, [Jon’s] creating a real life video game!” says Graziano.

Anyone is welcome to come play Time Trial for free during the two monthly events it’s available—the aforementioned Community Night as well as an athletic event Brooklyn Boulders holds called Savage Games. Time Trial is heading for other Brooklyn Boulders gyms as well—Cheng has gone to the chain’s Queensbridge and Chicago locations to set up the game. Cheng wants to see Time Trial keep expanding to more gyms, and is also starting to think about his next game. “I’ve also fantasized about building a Flappy Bird-style game for climbers,” he says. “I think that could be really fun.”

Watch the video below.


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Originally posted 2016-02-23 07:05:41.

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