NASA and Microsoft are currently taking part in a project, known as Sidekick. NASA astronauts and the crew of the ISS are testing out pairs of Microsoft HoloLens. Microsoft explained that this project will have two modes, Procedure Mode and Remote Expert Mode. Basically, Remote Expert Mode uses Skype to connect all of the ground operators to the ISS. Then, the people on Earth, via the HoloLens, can see what the astronauts are seeing. Procedure Mode is a little different, but it is still meant to assist ISS and NASA astronauts. In this mode, animated holographic illustrations are presented to the crew members for further training. Microsoft is doing an excellent job of lending a helping hand, and here are the primary reasons why they are.
FIRST REASON: NEW CAPIBILITES FOR RESEARCH
This project is only going to further the amount of research that NASA can do, and they commented on it themselves. They noted how teaming with Microsoft to use their HoloLens will provide them with more capabilities for the ISS. The Procedure Mode, in specific, could give researchers a key resource when they partake in deep space missions. Not only is this good for them, but it should be good for everyone because you never know what NASA will discover with further research.
SECOND REASON: REDUCE THE TRAINING FOR NASA
With this project, Microsoft may be cutting the training time down for NASA astronauts. Mainly due to the Procedure Mode, the training time for astronauts could be significantly reduced. The great thing is they could potentially cut the time down, but the training content would still suffice. A Microsoft member, Alex Kipman, also expressed his enjoyment with what they have been able to offer NASA. In a blog post, he mentioned how he was thrilled about the work that they are doing for them, and that he can’t wait to see more from them.