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On the climb: Halo Holds

They boast the biggest team in this year’s InventOR Collegiate Challenge. The nine students behind Halo Holds are members of the Oregon State University Sports Engineering Club and they’ve come up with a new system for rock climbing gyms designed to make better use of limited space and help new climbers succeed in the sport.

Members of the Halo Holds team collected their "big check" to fund an even bigger prototype. (Photo courtesy of InventOR)

Halo Holds marries technology and sport to create a flexible system that communicates via Bluetooth for control using an Android-compatible mobile device. The climbing holds light up helping climbers scale the wall. Users can crowdsource and share different climbs depending on their ability.

Part of the Halo Holds pitch is that gyms can be intimidating for beginners, but their innovation creates a straightforward starting point for beginner climbers, with the software application recommending routes to climbers based on their preferences and adjust according to their developing abilities.

A rendering of the Halo Holds wireless interface.

“We are currently nearing completion of our first prototype of a fully-functional Halo Holds system,” reports Tim Slama, Halo Holds team member. “Over the past month, the development of the holds has come together wonderfully and our team has been working hard to scale the system before the InventOR final competition.”

Coming to the final competition on June 29?

You won’t miss the Halo Holds booth.

The team will be bringing an 8-foot by 8-foot fully functional prototype wall with them to the finals in Klamath Falls. The wall will have 20 holds of various shapes and sizes.

After the competition, the wall will find a permanent home at the climbing gym at Oregon State.

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