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Lizcore’s sport monitoring system is simple enough for indoor climbers.

On the 4YFN exhibit floor at MWC this week, we saw Lizcore, a Barcelona-based sport monitoring business. It did what one climber believed impossible: digitize and improve indoor climbing so bouldering fanatics would like it.

Bouldering gyms that install its proprietary hardware and software can offer climbers a low-friction way to log and track their indoor climbing performance (recording on-sights, red points, how fast problems were scaled, etc.) and add social gamification (such as the ability to compare stats with friends) without wearing or carrying anything more than a light fabric bracelet or clothes pin.

“Every sport is digitizing. Indeed, climbing was an exception, adds CTO Marçal Juan. You can’t design an app and expect climbers to use it. We need gear to succeed; therefore, we need it.”

Climbers may utilize Lizcore’s progress monitoring system without using their phone or a wristwatch, which can get in the way and become scratched and dirty in a chalky gym. They just need the Lizy bracelet, a lightweight NFC wearable. This stylish, simple ring is the only gear needed to link with the startup’s software.

The company is also building a less obtrusive NFC clothing pin to convince boulders that this gadget won’t weigh them down.

Gyms must acquire and install Lizcore’s smart base units and top-out holds for each boulder challenge. Three routes may share a base unit. Base unit climbers use NFC wearables to identify themselves. They then try the route, and the app records a fail if they don’t reach the top hold or a send and topping out time if they do.

It tracks activity and progress with minimum effort, so climbers may focus on training, ascending, sending, and repeating. Entrepreneur and CEO Edgar Casanovas, an ex-pro climber, conceived the firm.

The wall-mounted Lizcore base unit displays route grading on a screen. (We were informed that conference Wi-Fi troubles prevented the screen from appearing at the booth.) Climbers may vote on the grade thereafter using the unit’s buttons. The unit may also let people vote for a route to be kept instead of reset with a new challenge, like bouldering gyms do.

Lizcore suggests gyms use its NFC technology for entrance/exit ticketing and fitness class access if they don’t already. Security might limit gym access to prevent youngsters from utilizing specific amenities. As NFC gadgets, the lightweight devices might facilitate payments in gym cafés and bars. The simple wearable might even help climbers forget their wallets at the gym.

“The possibilities are endless,” says Juan. “Gyms that buy this device will want to maximize its use. We can easily sell another service and say, “Okay, I’m interested.” Climbing hardware is our selling point. Additionally, by offering other services such as CRM and subscriptions, it may be used for anything.

The two-sided device also gives gyms statistics and a more detailed picture of climbing activities than monitoring gymgoers via an entry/exit gate. Lizcore claims the device tells gyms whether climbing sections and walls are quiet or crowded. How individual routes are doing (too easy, too hard, etc.) might help them balance the mix of issues.

Juan believes gyms might offer contests for users, such as prize giveaways for the first or quickest climb of new boulder challenges. Check monitored routes to see whether climbers topped out during open bouldering contests.

Gyms may target their core consumers with discounts and promotions via the app on climbers’ phones. Also to add value to members, such is delivering thorough per-route information and fresh route facts immediately.

Gyms often post ‘new routes’ PSAs on Instagram, but Lizcore allows them to notify members when routes are posted and allow them to check out route settings in the app before a visit to read problems and better plan their gym trips.

Route setters may also tell you whether a route requires a lot of finger strength, power, or dynamic technique.

Bouldering gyms usually provide very basic information: A route grade (or range). Additionally, Lizcore’s route monitoring and voting mechanism may allow climbers to get more personalized route grades according to their morphology (short vs. tall). As a short climber, it would be a data-driven leap ahead!

Five Spanish gyms are testing the November 2022 startup’s technology. Juan says they’re raising a seed round to convert to mass manufacturing, starting in Spain and Europe.

He claims they’re also discussing adopting climbing competition organizations’ systems.

The team is also building climbing gym safety tech like smart auto-belay devices that won’t allow a person to clip onto the carabiner without a credential.

Juliet P.
Author: Juliet P.

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