Tag: augmented reality gaming

Augmented reality creates thrilling new experience out of climbing walls

As though rock climbing weren’t exciting enough, AR is now being used to turn it into a kind of video game.

Indoor climbing company, Brooklyn Boulders, has now launched a new type of augmented reality experience that allows its customers to turn their regular bouldering challenges into an entirely new competitive video game experience.

The sport of indoor rock climbing has been spiking in popularity and businesses are working to stand out.

As climbing gyms start to appear all across the United States, it is reaching the point that these companies are starting to need to work to allow themselves to stand out from the competition. In this effort, Brooklyn Boulders – located in New York City – has become the first in this industry to implement an augmented reality technology based game on their bouldering wall. The hope is that by adding a lit up, competitive game experience similar to video gaming, it will help to make this sport even more appealing and will draw people specifically into their location.

The augmented reality climbing game experience was first created by John Cheng and is called Time Trial.

Augmented Reality - Indoor Rock ClimbingTime Trial is a form of digital AR climbing game from the Randori startup. The game works by projecting numbered circles next to the hand hold positions on the various climbing walls. When a climber touches those circles, he or she gains points. The purpose of the game is to be able to collect all the available points throughout the length of a climb. Moreover, the climber must complete the bouldering challenge within the shortest time possible.

In order to run the Time Trial system, the equipment needed includes a laptop to run the program, a camera sensor, and projectors. Cheng, a former student of computer science, is a Brooklyn Boulders member and originally demoed his AR game, last year. Since it was first showcased, Time Trial has gone through additional evolution as it can now display the scores and times of the climber on the wall next to the number targets.

Cheng is now working to implement the augmented reality climbing experience at locations outside of Brooklyn Boulders and is currently looking into opportunities in Queensbridge and Chicago.

Augmented reality from Microsoft transforms living room into video game

RoomAlive creates virtual objects that people can interact with in the physical world.

The augmented reality gaming system can turn a full living room into a virtual play area, which was recently demonstrated in a proof-of-concept video that was released by Microsoft Research.

RoomAlive utilizes a projector and a collection of depth cameras.

This is how the AR system maps the room, as well as the furniture and the people inside it. The pixels that are mapped can be used for input or output, which enables people to touch, dodge or shoot virtual content.

In the recent video about RoomAlive, it demonstrates how the system is set up and shows diverse simple game concepts in action. The people demoing the system are shown playing a whack-a mole like game that uses a gun and another game with traps that pop out of walls. Furthermore, according to the video, the system is linked to Unity, which gives developers the opportunity to design games around Microsoft’s augmented reality technology.

The narrator in the video says that “The system automatically creates a unified model of the room by combining the depth maps from each pro cam unit. In addition to the 3D model, our system automatically extracts the surfaces in the room, identifying vertical and horizontal surfaces in the floor plan.”

Microsoft’s augmented reality gaming system adapts content to any room.

The information provided in the video states that users of RoomAlive can touch, stomp, dodge, shoot and steer content that is projected seamlessly into the room, as if it were a natural part of the physical environment.

Furthermore, a unified model of the room is created by the system that does not require the intervention of the user. This is made possible because the projector-depth camera units are self-localizing and individually auto-calibrating.

The RoomAlive augmented reality system is still in the research stages and there has been no word yet on when this unique gaming experience will be available for consumers to obtain and enjoy. Furthermore, while there is no question that this is indeed a fascinating device, it is likely to be a costly product since it requires more than one high-end projector to work.