NASA has launched a contest to find designs for a smartwatch app for astronauts aboard the International Space Station.
We know that two Microsoft HoloLens AR headsets were on their way up to the ISS for use by technicians but now NASA wants to use smartwatches to help astronauts in their day-to-day space work.
The app will be used for a number of functions: to display a timeline of the crew's agenda (past and future), show colour coded warnings and cautions and indicate whether the space station is able to communicate with the ground via voice or video. The app will also need to be able to set timers for procedures and activities and display feedback and data on a small smartwatch screen.
So an easy job then for app developers and wearable design freelancers. Anyone entering the contest should use a Samsung Gear 2 as a reference device for the design and the required materials to enter consist of image wireframes showing the layout, navigation, interaction and look and feel of the Astronaut Smartwatch app.
NASA is especially looking for apps that can display legible information and innovative representations of data on a smartwatch screen. Many of the functions described above are currently carried out on laptops and iPads.
Freelancer.com and NASA previously joined up to crowdsource tools to be used by the Robonaut 2. NASA is interested in working with the 16 million-strong community to "contribute to the efforts of space exploration".