Sidekick offers AR interaction in space

AUTHOR: Inavate

Astronauts in space will be able to receive real time guidance from their colleagues on Earth by using HoloLens glasses. Sidekick, a project between Microsoft and Nasa, will allow ground operators to both see what the astronaut sees and overlay holographic drawings on what they are interacting with.

Two pairs of HoloLens glasses will be sent to the International Space Station (ISS) orbiting Earth for astronauts to test the hardware and software with a view to making their usage part of day-to-day routine.

‘Remote Expert Mode’ allows the support crew on Earth to see in real time what astronauts on ISS are seeing using Skype. Currently ground operators can only communicate using audio or text, but with Sidekick they will be about write notes or draw instructions that will appear immediately in the astronaut's field of view. ‘Procedure Mode’ will allow animated holographic drawings to be laid over what the astronaut is looking at to assist with tasks.

The project suffered a setback on Sunday when an unmanned Dragon spacecraft due to resupply the ISS disintegrated shortly after launch, taking the AR specs with it. Once a successful delivery and test period has been completed, another two sets of glasses will be sent up for day-to-day use.