While Microsoft did demo the HoloLens mixed reality (MR) head-mounted display (HMD) at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), the worlds largest videogame event, the company has reiterated since that it is focusing its efforts on bringing the HoloLens to enterprises and developers first before looking at the consumer gaming industry. And one of the first organisations to test the device is NASA which is using it in its underwater lab.
In an article by Space.com, the website reports that astronauts training in the underwater lab over a 14 day period have taken Microsoft’s HoloLens to see how the device will perform in extreme environments, and help the control centre assist the astronauts. One example mentioned was that as the HMD has cameras to let NASA see what the astronauts can see this could allow procedures such as real-time medical interventions.
The underwater lab called NEEMO, which stands for NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations, is located off the coast of Key Largo, Florida. Luca Parmitano, a European Space Agency astronaut and commander of NEEMO 20 said in a televised interview on NASA TV about doing these tests underwater: “We can learn about interaction between crewmembers and the ground control. We can learn about procedures and ways to make our work effective.” The team are also testing a second set of holographic lenses from another manufacturer but haven’t revealed who.
VRFocus will continue to follow all the latest announcements relating to HoloLens and its trials with NASA.