A partnership between NASA and Microsoft called Project Sidekick is designed to explore the efficacy of holographic computing for space travel. As part of that program, NASA recently began testing a pair of $3,000 Microsoft HoloLens devices aboard the the International Space Station.
The HoloLens can operate in two modes. Remote Expert Mode links a ground operator to the astronaut’s field of view through Skype. This mode also allows the operator to draw annotations to provide real-time guidance. Procedure Mode, on the other hand, overlays animated illustrations on top of the objects the astronaut is working on. The latter proves especially useful in cases where communication is unreliable.
NASA hopes the project will eventually lead to increased autonomy on a future Mars mission.
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Will applications for augmented reality continue to expand? How else could it be effectively utilized by manufacturers?
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