Just in time for the holiday season, the International Space Station (ISS) received several items from NASA’s unmanned cargo ship Cygnus yesterday. Starting off with the basic necessities, ISS astronauts were delivered food, clothing, and air replenishment tanks. On the more high-tech end of the delivery, they’d also received microsatellites, jetpacks, and yes, even Microsoft HoloLens headsets!
“HoloLens and other virtual and mixed reality devices are cutting edge technologies that could help drive future exploration and provide new capabilities to the men and women conducting critical science on the International Space Station. This new technology could also empower future explorers requiring greater autonomy on the journey to Mars.”
– Sam Scimemi, Director of Project Sidekick
Photo Credit: NASA
With the Cygnus delivery of the HoloLens headsets, expect holographic computing to become a crucial facet of future space exploration – one more item to check off of our list on, “How to become more like Star Trek.”
Most of our computational systems still require clunky hardware for us to carry around and interact with the limited capacity of our fingertips. Though that is soon changing with the introduction of holographic computing, thanks to companies like Microsoft who envision a future where all of our computational systems are instead virtual, holographic objects of which we can interact with however we so please. With the delivery of HoloLens headsets onto the ISS, both present-day and future astronauts will finally be able to integrate a lot of their work and scientific research using those headsets, which will surely increase productivity and decrease the time required for the work to be completed.
Similar to the Star Trek TV series, the future of space-based holographic computing could truly revolutionize the way astronauts explore the universe. Holography will be used for an entire assortment of reasons – from entertainment to survival training. Subsequently, holography technologies will completely redefine what it means to be an astronaut. Sure, there’ll be physical humans present on spaceships, but then they’ll be sharing the ship with visitors back home who are using virtual avatar systems to project themselves onto the cabin, allowing the everyday citizen to explore the universe alongside other astronauts.