Fast Company

Astronauts Get Augmented Reality Headsets

Dutch AR developer Layar announced a 3D API today--but this AR headset dwarfs their Android app. The Wearable Augmented Reality (or WEAR) headset was developed for astronauts to view schematics and specifications while working on the International Space Station (ISS).

Built by the European Space Agency (ESA) and officially announced this morning, WEAR is defined by the ESA as "a wearable computer system" using a one-eyed display to "superimpose 3D graphics and data onto its wearer’s field of view."

WEAR is voice-controlled, and shows astronauts "precise information" about the equipment they're using and working around. It will use a 3D augmented reality framework to recognize objects, track systems, and retrieve object specs by reading barcodes. Currently, the ESA notes, space station residents rely on reams of paper manuals and diagrams, like these below.

The WEAR system, which was sent up to the ISS in August and began beta testing 10 days ago, will become fully operational once the new Lenovo A61 laptops are brought up to support their backend computing.

[Via ESA] [Images courtesy of ESA.]

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