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NASA will send HoloLens to space this weekend

NASA will send HoloLens to space this weekend


Astronauts will use Microsoft's AR device to communicate with Earth

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NASA has been involved with Microsoft's HoloLens since before it was announced, and it's about to take the relationship one step further. This weekend, NASA will send a pair of HoloLens devices to the International Space Station as part of the SpaceX resupply mission.

Astronauts aboard the ISS will use HoloLens in a few ways. There is a "Remote Expert Mode," where ground operators can use Skype to see what a crew member sees in real time. The operator can then make notes and draw right in the astronaut's field of view. There's also a "Procedure Mode," which lays animated holographic drawings over whatever the crew member is interacting with. To make all this happen, NASA and Microsoft co-developed a program called Sidekick.

The first devices will be used for testing

Sidekick won't immediately become a part of the day-to-day routine on the ISS. Astronauts will use these first two devices to test the hardware and software, and a second set of HoloLens glasses will be delivered "on a future mission," according to NASA.