Smarter Rock Climbing with Augmented Reality
Product design, UX design, UI design, visual design
Rock climbing is a sport that involves picking a climbing route and learning to execute a precise sequence of moves required to complete the route. The most effective way to learn a route is to watch someone else climb it and analyze what they did. However, if you cannot find someone else climbing the same route, it is often far more difficult to learn. The most common workaround is to set up a phone or camera to record yourself, but this method is inconvenient. It's often more trouble than it's worth, and the recording frequently is taken at a bad angle and does not provide much help.
This is an experience I have encountered frequently in rock climbing. My goal for this project was to identify and concept an app that would use augmented reality to provide feedback and facilitate improvement in solo rock climbing scenarios.
I interviewed several friends who were rock climbers, in order to gather thoughts and ideas on how to solve this problem. Taking their feedback into consideration, I decided on an augmented reality app using motion capture devices to create a 3D replay of a climber's movements. Wearable motion capture devices provide the user with the ability to start and stop recording. Next, the user opens the app and views the 3D recording superimposed on a real surface through their device's camera.
This app makes it easy to get your own feedback while climbing by providing easy to use, immersive replays which are integrated into a real world environment. This gives the user the ability to watch themselves climb from any angle they want, which enables hands on analysis of their own climbing techniques, patterns, and mistakes.
Prototyping the screens and their organization involved thinking about what the user is trying to accomplish when they open the app. Primary functions include playing the most recent recording, syncing and controlling the motion capture devices, and sorting through climbing routes the user has attempted. Secondary features include the ability to view other users' recordings of your climbing routes, sort by complete and incomplete attempts, and select another recording to compare yours with side by side.