Microsoft has already been in the limelight for its augmented reality headgear HoloLens, but it does not end there. The software firm’s latest gadget is now being used by NASA, which is sending it into space.
NASA sending HoloLens to ISS
Sidekick, a project announced on Thursday by Microsoft and NASA, will pair the astronauts on board the International Space Station with a HoloLens to “provide virtual aid to astronauts working off the Earth, for the Earth,” NASA says.
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NASA is going to launch Project Sidekick on June 28; on that date, it will send a pair of Microsoft HoloLens goggles to the International Space Station as part of a scheduled resupply mission. In this program, the HoloLens will be tested to see whether augmented and virtual reality devices can help astronauts in outer space.
Sam Scimemi, director of the ISS program at NASA Headquarters in Washington, said that HoloLens and other virtual and mixed reality devices will help us explore the future and offer new capabilities to perform critical science experiments on the ISS. Scimemi also stated that this technology could help future explorers with “greater autonomy on the journey to Mars.”
However, before the ISS mission, NASA had already tested the HoloLens in its Weightless Wonder C9 jet with an intention to analyze how the gadget handles the space station’s environment.
Microsoft HoloLens: many questions remain unanswered
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella termed the announcement of HoloLens project “unbelievably cool.” Of late, Microsoft has been flaunting the HoloLens’ coolness globally, and with such a partnership, it has every right to flaunt its fledgling technology. In a recent E3 games expo, the company demonstrated HoloLens’ potential video game uses, and this week in Cannes, it pitched its product to potential advertisers.
Until now, Microsoft has made no announcement related to the HoloLens’ cost, when it is going to be released, how many units it is going to manufacture initially, or whether the device will target consumers or businesses. However, one thing is clear: the company wants everyone to get excited about its new gadget, and going by the recent media coverage it’s been getting, I will say Microsoft has done a really good job.
At around 10.41 am Eastern, Microsoft shares were up 0.47% at $45.87, and year to date, the stock is down by over 2%.