Microsoft's Hololens Will Be Used on the International Space Station

As if being in space wasn't augmented reality enough.


When Microsoft announced its Hololens augmented reality headset, the company described its many potential uses, including in games and in science. Today, NASA revealed its own plans for the headset: It will be sending two of them up to the International Space Station.

Using an application called Sidekick, astronauts will use Hololens to assist in training and procedures necessary on the ISS. During day-to-day actions, the headset will provide support and guidance.

According to NASA, Sidekick has two elements: Remote Expert mode and Procedure mode. The first allows a technician or operator on Earth to Skype in and talk with the astronaut. The headset transmits the astronaut's view to the operator, who then can talk him or her through a situation. The operator can also draw and annotate on the astronaut's view via the headset.

Procedure mode layers illustrations and text over objects, augmenting the astronaut's knowledge and reducing the amount of training necessary for carrying out some operations.

The devices are going up to the Space Station on June 28 on board commercial rocket company SpaceX's next resupply flight. This flight is also notable because SpaceX will make another attempt to land its rocket on a barge after delivering the supplies into orbit.

We were recently able to go hands-on with Hololens to interact with a Halo AR simulation. You can check out our preview here. Microsoft also showed off Minecraft running on the headset.

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