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CEO and founder Raine Kajastila’s research to determine if technology can motivate people and teach them skills to participate in sports led to the creation of ValoClimb, the world’s first augmented reality climbing experience.
ValoClimb projected graphics onto a climbing wall, encouraging climbers to try new paths and gamifying practice. One of their first social posts on Facebook blew up, garnering eight million views in a weekend. It eventually eclipsed 250 million views and led to a Discover Network story.
The response from the active location-based entertainment market was overwhelming, requiring Valo Motion to grow its headcount to deal with the inquiries. They have not stopped growing since. Now Valo Motion encourages active, healthy entertainment in over 1000 locations across 65 countries recording more than 150,000 plays every day.
One of the biggest segments attracted to ValoClimb was the emerging market of trampoline parks. This led Valo Motion to their second product, ValoJump. By extending their tracking technology and mixed reality to the core activity of jumping on trampolines, they found a perfect bullseye of product/market fit.
Raine’s core belief is that people don’t get enough activity in their daily life. As an avid outdoor and climbing enthusiast, he, and the team at Valo Motion, create active experiences that empower people to find the joy of movement. By mixing sports, technology, and game mechanics, their products engage generations of kids and adults who increasingly seek fun playing video games online.
Taking a cue from online games, they’ve built a cloud-based infrastructure to track performance and reliability and deliver new games and experiences to their network. That system has now been integrated into a mobile app for players, fostering a global community and competitions. It’s early days, but the notion of Valo Motion games playing a role in the nascent world of location-based esports seems likely.
Their newest product, ValoArena, further extends their reach from trampoline parks into the broader market of family entertainment centers. It stays true to Valo Motion’s core of active entertainment but dials down the physicality while increasing social engagement and throughput. Completely unattended, it lets six players run, jump, and play in an immersive environment. No headsets (so it’s not technically virtual reality), it’s helping define a new category of FEC products, the mixed reality playground.
I expect the ValoArena to pave the way for more unattended, multiplayer virtual and extended reality systems. For now, it’s the best example of social, multiplayer, immersive gaming you can get without requiring dedicated staff.