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Making It

Lunar Rethinks Rock Climbing Walls, Making Them Slicker And Smarter

Lunar Europe gives the climbing wall an aesthetic that blends into modern spaces. And of course, it’s controlled with an iPhone app.

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Few things say filthy rich more succinctly than an indoor rock-climbing wall. But even those lucky enough to have them, must contend that the hulking structures don’t match their surrounding décor. As Lunar Europe puts it, "Pro gear is out of place. Since it lived in the gym, no one has re-considered the design." That is, until the Munich-based design studio decided to put its spin on the climbing wall, transforming the standard pebble-like holds into a wall art comprised of indented ripples.

The concept, called Nova, is the second in Lunar Europe’s series of home-gym upgrades. (The first is a museum-worthy exercise bike that we’ll feature later in the week.) When not in use, it’s a backlit piece of sculpture. But when you’re ready for some bouldering, a clever UI idea kicks in: A companion iPhone app lights up a route according to your preferred difficulty and then rates your performance.

The conceit behind Nova—to make gym equipment less of an eyesore—is smart. And the UI details are clever. But still, the question is how inspired people other than the Patrick Batemans of the world will be to use it. Is the market for this large enough to get it built? We shall see.

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