Kajastila, R., and Hmlinen, P., “Augmented Climbing: Interacting With Projected Graphics on a Climbing Wall,”CHI 14 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems., 1279-1284

Article describes researchers efforts developing a novel augmented climbing wall for bouldering. Their system combines projected graphics on an artificial climbing wall and body tracking using computer vision technology. System has a projector, a depth camera and a computer system for analyzing climbers movements, providing feedback about the climbers performance or creating meaningful tasks for the climber.

Researchers first tested their system at a local bouldering gym and them builded their own wall at their research lab. First main findings were that climbers could observe projected images and interactive graphics while being close to the wall and that fast moving graphics can be easily missed. The projector also has to be powerful for the graphics to be clearly visible in indoor lightning.

Participants said that they would use the augmented climbing wall, but it would be best as one separate wall in a climbing gym. They also find easy route building, sharing and instant video feedback were considered the most useful. Option for automatic route generator for training was also ranked high. Wall had also social aspect of sharing routes and the possibility to use video screen for comparing own performance to others which both received praises.

Raine Kajastila was talking about HCI and rock climbing in Sports, data and HCI seminar on 10.4. He introduced same results that are described in the article. He introduced basics from different kind of climbing variations and also aalto game and climbing research. He also showed video from their study where people were climbing in their augmented wall. It was nice to see how excited he was about their wall.

It was fun to read how bouldering and augmented reality can be combined together. Lots of stuff was familiar but it was nice to read from the basics how they tested their ideas with users.

– Olli T.

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