Augmented Reality Climbing Looks Like So Much Damn Fun

I love climbing arguably more than breathing, but when you’re stuck in the same gym with the same routes all day long, it can get just the teensiest bit boring. This augmented reality climbing game seems like the perfect antidote.


Jon Cheng’s AR game isn’t particularly complicated, or even too hard to pull off: connect a projector and a camera to a laptop, point it at a wall covered with holds, and a series of points is projected. Climbers have to touch all the points and make it to the top in the fastest time, all the while getting Super Mario-esque audio feedback.

The idea of augmented reality climbing isn’t totally new, but the difference here is the location: Brooklyn Boulders is a popular climbing wall in New York, where the AR climbing game is hosted twice a month. With the entire package being so modular and cheap, it’s easy to see it spreading.

Climbing can be an opaque and non-rewarding sport for beginners, who often find the easiest routes a struggle when they first lace up shoes. But add in a couple lights and a little competition, and your local gym might get a little more packed. Gulp.


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See, I had pictured tackling a rock wall with a VR headset on. How cool would it be if you weren’t climbing a perpetual rockwall, but a colossus?