Now augmented reality will be available in space, thanks to the partnership between NASA and Osterhout Design Group (ODG), a military tech company. NASA has plans to provide smart glasses to its astronauts so that they can see digital information overlaid on their surroundings. ODG has developed its own set of augmented reality glasses, the R-6 Smart Glasses which have been mainly used by different military agencies in the US. However, the company has plans to launch a consumer version of the ODG glasses this year itself.
ODG Augmented Reality Glasses
The R-6 Smart Glasses include a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, Bluetooth connectivity, Wi-Fi and sensors which can find out what the users are looking at. The specifications are made to fit the military requirements which make the glasses quite tough. The company is not venture backed but over the last six years, it has managed to collect $60 million for developing these glasses.
Use of Augmented Reality by NASA
NASA wants to equip its astronauts with these glasses so that they can manage space flights more easily. The primary use of R-6 Smart Glasses would be giving instructions right in front of the user’s eyes so that they can easily maintain and repair equipment on space shuttles, instead of carrying around loads of index cards. This will keep the astronaut’s hands, free.
The ODG glasses could send live video feed to someone who is aware of that piece of equipment. It can send audio visual instructions to the person wearing the smart glasses. This would help in cutting down the time astronauts need to spend on ground training for the space missions.
Sean Carter, the manager of new business development at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, “The amount of savings in training could be staggering. This could be a game changer for human space flight exploration.”
NASA has plans to test out the augmented reality glasses from ODG this year. The testing will be done in NASA’s underwater training facility located in the Gulf of Mexico. If the Earth testing is successful, the glasses will be taken to space at the International Space Station with the astronauts. NASA has plans to use the smart glasses to help the astronauts with its Orion spacecraft. The spaceship is supposed to take humans to Mars and even asteroids.
Recently, NASA had also announced a partnership with Hololens, the AR glasses from Microsoft. However, at present, the tie up is more about controlling the Mars Curiosity rover remotely from Earth.
So, when it comes to use of augmented reality in space, it seems ODG might beat Microsoft to it.
What’s your thought?
Do you think this partnership between ODG and NASA will make a change in the operations of the space? Will including augmented reality be really beneficial? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Image Source – venturebeat.com
Article Source – forbes.com