NASA send­ing gog­gles to or­bit

Mi­crosoft’s HoloLens is go­ing on a mis­sion to the In­ter­na­tional Space Sta­tion.

Los Angeles Times - - BUSINESS BEAT - By Daina Beth Solomon daina.solomon@latimes.com

Mi­crosoft’s HoloLens — gog­gles that beam holo­graphic im­ages into one’s line of vi­sion — can make Earth­lings feel as if they are walk­ing on Mars. Now they are ac­tu­ally go­ing into outer space.

NASA is send­ing the de­vices to the In­ter­na­tional Space Sta­tion, it said Thurs­day, giv­ing astro­nauts ex­tra eyes for re­pairs and other oper­a­tions.

For ex­am­ple, the HoloLens could make an­i­mated re­pair- guide im­ages hover above equip­ment be­ing f ixed by the crew. It could beam im­ages of what astro­nauts are see­ing down to Earth, so op­er­a­tors back home could send draw­ings or notes that would ap­pear in front of the HoloLenswearer.

One of the long- term hopes for the tech­nol­ogy is to help astro­nauts func­tion with less help from Earth, which could open up pos­si­bil­i­ties for nav­i­gat­ing un­known plan­ets.

“This new tech­nol­ogy could also em­power fu­ture ex­plor­ers re­quir­ing greater au­ton­omy on the jour­ney to Mars,” said Sam Scimemi, di­rec­tor of the In­ter­na­tional Space Sta­tion pro­gram.

Two of the de­vices are slated to travel to the space sta­tion Sun­day with a SpaceX sup­ply mis­sion, NASA said. Sci­en­tists from Jet Propul­sion Lab­o­ra­tory in La Cañada Flin­tridge and Hous­ton’s John­son Space Cen­ter, the in­sti­tutes spear­head­ing the pro­gram along with NASA, have en­sured that they will work in mi­cro­grav­ity con­di­tions.

Mi­crosoft touted HoloLens’ po­ten­tial for prac­ti­cal ap­pli­ca­tions at an un­veil­ing in Jan­uary, nam­ing doc­tors and con­struc­tion work­ers as pro­fes­sion­als who could ben­e­fit. It could also be great for gamers, who f locked to last week’s Elec­tronic En­ter­tain­ment Expo in Los An­ge­les for test runs with the “Halo” video game.

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