NASA Seeks Smartwatch App For Space Station

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Running the International Space Station is not an easy job. That’s why NASA is looking for a smart programmer to write a smartwatch app to help the astronauts crew safely operate the ISS.

U.S. space agency NASA posted a contest to Freelancer this week requesting initial development of a smartwatch app that could be used by astronauts in space, and will reward whoever submits the winning app with a cool $1,500 and a (much more valuable) certificate of appreciation.

More on NASA smartwatch app

The new posting from NASA highlights that the ISS smartwatch app would be used to help astronauts keep track of important information about operations in the space station. The app should use the Samsung Gear 2 smartwatch as a hardware reference.

Examples of features to be included in the app are an agenda view of the crew Timeline, which is viewed on an iPad or laptop currently; full color-coded alerts and warnings; communication status updates to make clear whether the ISS is currently able to communicate with Earth via voice and/or video; and also timers to assist the astronauts with their various activities.

All of these functions should clearly direct attention to the information the viewers need to increase efficiency, offer feedback for actions, and still be easily seen on a smartwatch-size screen.

Of note, participants in the contest don’t actually have to develop a functional app. The deliverables for the NASA smartwatch app contest are simple image files. Participants in the contest are only responsible for designing the app’s user interface; the actual writing of the code for the app will be undertaken by NASA software engineers.

Excerpt from NASA posting on Freelancer

“We are interested in the emerging world of smartwatch technology and are looking to leverage this technology to create a smartwatch app that could be helpful to astronauts,” according to the NASA posting on Freelancer. “The challenge is to design the general user interface for smartwatch applications for use on the International Space Station.”

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