Microsoft’s augmented reality device HoloLens is about to into space. In a partnership with NASA, Microsoft will send a couple of the headsets to the International Space Station (ISS) for a project known as Project Sidekick, which aims to let astronauts go paperless by the end of this year.
At the moment, when astronauts have to complete a task, they typically take notes on what they are doing and then receive instructions from NASA by voice. Project Sidekick though uses the HoloLens to create a kind of augmented reality, so that astronauts can also receive more detailed instructions about what needs to be done.
Project Sidekick takes HoloLens into space
Project Sidekick will apparently have two modes at first. The Remote Expert mode actually uses Skype to bring real time annotations and also allows NASA to see what the astronaut sees, which the Procedure mode uses ‘holograms’ on top of items that the crew are interacting with.
According to NASA, Project Sidekick “will be used and evaluated during the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) 20 expedition set to begin July 21 when a group of astronauts and engineers live in the world’s only undersea research station, Aquarius, for two weeks”.
Even though the ocean test environment isn’t exactly the same as space, it’s a fairly close representation and good enough for most of the trials.
There has not yet been any details about when the HoloLens will be used on the ISS. NASA says that it expects astronauts will use Sidekick by the end of the year, however.
SOURCE: The Next Web.