Arcade Climbing aims to change the sport for beginners and veterans alike with its new motion-responsive, light-up climbing holds.
On Oct. 20, Brooklyn-based Arcade Climbing officially introduced its proprietary “interactive” climbing hold technology. Arcade claims its new products “open up a new world for climbers of all levels to move, play, and train.”
As of October 2021, the company has installed its technology at the Brooklyn Boulders climbing gyms in the Chicago and Washington, D.C., locations.
Arcade has released a promotional video that showcases various configurations of its light-up climbing holds. Though the specific capabilities of the brand’s systems aren’t fully clear from the video, they seem to have created a sort of hybrid between the Kilter Board and Dance Dance Revolution.
You can even pair up with a buddy to complete two-person games and on-the-wall challenges.
While light-up climbing holds have been around for years, Arcade has raised the stakes by installing “force sensors.” Per the company’s website, “When a climber pulls on select holds, a calibrated sensor is initiated, and the output is a variety of actions depending on the activity chosen.” Presumably, these sensors will play a key role in Arcade’s “guided training programs, climbing classes, youth programming, and games.”
Like other interactive training boards, climbers will operate Arcade’s systems via a mobile app developed to control and manage the “smart wall.” In an article for Outside Business Journal, Arcade Climbing CEO Martin Adler said his company brings “a fresh, vibrant energy to indoor climbing gyms nationwide.”
The sport of climbing has been in the midst of significant growth and change for years, but arcade-inspired games and integrated force sensors represent the next level of innovation. And this technology addresses both serious training for climbing and using the sport for entertainment purposes.