Science & Technology

Pokémon Go is no-go for space station, but astronauts can fight aliens with HoloLens

Astronauts have zapped digital aliens on the Worldwide Space Station, utilizing Microsoft’s HoloLens mixed-reality headset. So how about Pokémon Go, the most recent craze in mixed-reality smartphone gaming? No-go, says NASA.

“It is not attainable for astronauts to play,” NASA spokesman Dan Huot instructed GeekWire, in simply one of many emails he’s been sending out at present in response to press queries. “There is a small variety of smartphones accessible on ISS which the crew use for science actions (like SPHERES), but not for private use.”

The smartphones and tablets which can be in use on the station don’t have web connectivity, Huot defined. The astronauts have entry solely to the apps designed for the payloads they’re meant for, and can’t add apps as is sometimes carried out by smartphone customers on Earth. If they should use the web – for instance, to put up snapshots on Twitter – they join by way of laptops which can be locked down when it comes to cybersecurity.

“And so far as location companies, the astronauts use ISS inner GPS information and customized purposes to find out their location and place,” Huot mentioned. “Location-based companies we use right here on Earth aren’t utilized.”

Meaning the space station’s navigation community couldn’t work with the Pokémon critters’ coordinates, even when the astronauts had been related to the sport.

Microsoft’s HoloLens is a distinct kettle of digital fish: The headsets on the space station are meant for use for Project Sidekick, an experiment how mixed-reality environments might assist the astronauts by way of a multi-step process, or assist them work collectively with floor controllers at NASA’s Mission Management Heart on particular duties in orbit.

If a type of duties occurs to be blasting video-game aliens, as was the case when year-in-space astronaut Scott Kelly tried out the goggles a few months ago – properly, that’s science!

Huot mentioned there hasn’t been a lot carried out with the HoloLens headsets since Kelly carried out the preliminary checkouts.

“Groups are finalizing some safety protocols within the MCC-to-ISS connection to make use of the system earlier than it turns into a regular-use software,” he mentioned.

It’s most likely a good suggestion for NASA to watch out with regards to mixed-reality gaming. We wouldn’t need the space station crew to undergo the troubles that the Starship Enterprise’s crew did on an episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”

Look, I warned you about Pokémon Go approach again within the 90s. None of you listened to me then, and also you higher hope @BrentSpiner saves you now.

— Wil Wheaton (@wilw) July 11, 2016
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