Kinect-Powered AR Climbing Wall Basically Turns Bouldering Into Pong

That's one way to mix realities.

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We now live in a world where interesting and bizarre virtual and augmented reality creations are commonplace, but a new project certainly stands out as particularly novel. A team from Aalto University in Finland have created augmented reality climbing walls that essentially turn the walls into giant Pong screens.

The Augmented Climbing Walls, as they're called, use projectors in conjunction with Xbox Kinect cameras and PCs to work. A game board, divided into two sides, is projected onto the bouldering wall. While hanging from the wall, each climber then attempts to hit a disc past the other. You can check it out in action below.

Raine Kajastila, the project's lead, is a climber himself and created the walls to help people improve motor skills faster and more enjoyably. These walls have already been installed in several countries nationwide.

Although virtual reality headsets have been available for a little over a year, consumer-facing augmented reality is still largely in the developmental stage. For example, Microsoft is working on Hololens AR goggles right now, and Magic Leap has shown a promising prototype of an AR headset. However, those goggles are still a ways from wide release.

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