NASA to use ODG smart glasses in space

NASA astronauts are to use smart glasses that display instructions for repairs and experiments

Space!

NASA has partnered with San Francisco's Osterhout Design Group for its astronauts to use ODG smart glasses, with new software designed to display instructions when conducting repairs and experiments in space.

The idea behind the software is to provide guides and instructions to astronauts whose hands are otherwise engaged with repairs or experiments, reports SFGate. The introduction of the software would remove the need for printed instruction manuals.

Pete Jameson, chief operating officer for the Osterhout Design Group, said: "It's the ability, in a heads-up display, to give people guidance and information, to give them check lists, directions, and see-through manuals."

The software is going to be tested in an undersea lab in order to simulate the conditions of a space flight. Once the software is integrated into the glasses, the device will be given to the flight programme team to be tested in space conditions.

Sean Carter, strategic partnerships manager at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, said: "By the fall, we will have astronaut and crew feedback.  It's our goal to approach the programmes shortly thereafter. I don't know that the crew will let us wait that long."

According to the report, NASA has been working on the software for more than a decade, developing voice-control systems that can recognise objects in videos. The technology was made easier with the appearance of smartphone chips.

"We knew we were ahead of the game," Carter added. "For us, this is huge today, and it gets even bigger tomorrow. The further we go away from earth, the more we need this."

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