HoloLens wins rave review from astronaut

Image: Scott Kelly
Astronaut Scott Kelly wears a HoloLens headset on the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

After his return from nearly a year in space, NASA astronaut Scott Kelly gave Microsoft’s HoloLens headset a big thumbs-up for work on the International Space Station – and for shooting down aliens in his spare time.

“It worked great,” he said today during a news briefing at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Texas. “I was really surprised. We messed around with it for about two hours, and immediately I sensed this is a capability we could use right now.”

The orbital test was part of Project Sidekick, a Microsoft-NASA collaboration to see how augmented-reality tools like HoloLens could facilitate operations on the space station. The HoloLens glasses can superimpose computer-generated graphics on the wearer’s field of view, and show someone else what the wearer is looking at. Both functions were put to the test in orbit.

“It had some cameras on it, and we could also see a display that’s in your field of view, The person on the ground could be drawing things in your field of view, and pointing to things, and I could be doing the same thing,” Kelly explained.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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