Playing with an AI goalkeeper is just one of the attractions at SuperPark.
TECHNOLOGY has made its way into many things from devices to homes, and the latest one involves extreme sport activities.
A new extreme sports outlet called SuperPark combines the traditional and extreme sports activities like wall climbing, trampoline, skating, parkour, etc with interactive technology.
According to TA.LE Architects, the company that designed the facility in Avenue K, Kuala Lumpur, the indoor park boasts a 3,716-square-metre site, offering more than 20 fun and healthy activities under one roof.
Its founder and principal architect, Tay Yanling, says the first SuperPark started in Finland in 2012, before expanding to other Nordic countries and then Asia.
The first SuperPark in Asia started in Hong Kong, and the second in Singapore. Super Park in Avenue K is the latest expansion of SuperPark in the region, with more to come in other parts of Asia.
“This ‘hybrid’ park is designed to cater to everyone, from toddlers to tweens, teenagers and adults,” she says.
There is a combination of both light and extreme sports activities for visitors.
“We take into account the different sizes and weights of users as well as ensure all health and safety requirements are met,” she says.
At the park, visitors will encounter the Iwall (an interactive parkour game), Flying Fox
(indoor zip line), Tube Slide, Kid’s Gym, Kid’s Adventure City and Pedal Car Track.
For the younger ones, there is baseball or street basketball. They can even compete with the RoboKeeper, an AI goalkeeper.
“We are also able to measure performance by radar and other digital systems,” says Tay.
Another hall within the SuperPark offers the SuperClimb, a Ninja Track, Skate and
Scoot World, Trampoline Platform, Augmented Climbing Wall and Skate Rink.
There is also a 232 square-metre ice skating rink made from 100 per cent recyclable and non-toxic synthetic ice.
“There are many benefits for children and adults alike, including interaction and the opportunity to have fun. Additionally, the activities are challenging yet are great for health and fitness,” explains Tay.
On the usage of technology in the activities offered at the park, Tay says there are different sections in the park, including an Adventure Area, a Game Area and a Freestyle Area, each incorporating technology to varying degrees.
“The RoboKeeper in the Game Area is one of the more popular ones. It’s a man versus machine activity. This goalkeeper reacts to your shots at goal and blocks your shots. We have had very good adult footballers try to get past the keeper but were unable to, thanks to the detection and body-recognition radar technology used,” she says.
The Iwall located within the Freestyle Area is also popular and combines digital technology with exercise.
This Iwall is an interactive Parkour system that allows users to explore virtual worlds using their own bodies — something that had not been done by other activity parks before SuperPark created it.
“The technology tracks the movements of the person in front of the screen and replicates it. When one jumps over the virtual barrier, it is reflected on the Iwall,”she says, adding that this allows for a number of creative and innovative activities including racing.
The inspiration behind SuperPark came from Finnish businessman Taneli Sutinen, who grew frustrated playing with his 4-year-old daughter within the child-sized playgrounds that were available to him.
“A park such as this is unique in that it caters for adults and children. In other words, it is suitable for people of different sizes and abilities. The space is safe for children but it does not restrict the movement and freedom of adults,” says Tay.
One example is the Pedal Car Track which is designed for both adults and kids.
“The track itself is windy and exciting but safety is not compromised. The Superhoop and Super PinBall are designed for all ages and abilities. Some hoops are located close enough for children to reach yet others are placed further away and thus harder for players,” she explains.
In designing the activities, Tay says the element of fun in the design and planning of the park is important “as that is in the DNA of the client”.
“At the same time, we have an obligation to make sure that the activities are safe.
So, fun and safety are our driving thoughts behind this project.
“We have to take into account other factors that most architects would not consider. For example, there must be sufficient space for parents to monitor their kids. Lighting must be optimised — bright enough to ensure that everyone can see clearly yet dark enough to allow the screens and visual elements to work properly. Audio levels too must not be too loud to drown out normal parent-child communication,” she says.
Tay says parents are particularly fond of SuperPark as it allows them to join in the fun with their kids, rather than just sitting on the sidelines.
“It is this parent-child bonding that we try to promote and is the most popular part of SuperPark.
“Lastly, many of the activities are physical and interactive, meaning they promote health and fitness for both adults and children,” she says.
“Malaysians are increasingly busy. Many parents have less time to play and interact with their children. So, I think there will be more demand for places that bring parents and children together and allow them to bond. SuperPark will continue to flourish precisely because it uses technology in a smart way,” says Tay.