NASA ‘holoports’ a doctor onto the space station

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In a world first, a doctor on Earth appeared in real-time aboard the ISS using augmented reality technology.

In a scene reminiscent of something out of Star Trek: Voyager, NASA has succeeded in projecting the interactive, three-dimensional image of a real person onto the International Space Station.

Using \’holoportation\’ technology developed by Microsoft, NASA flight surgeon Josef Schmid appeared on the orbital platform where his image could be spoken to and interacted with.

“This is [a] completely new manner of human communication across vast distances,” he said.

“It is a brand-new way of human exploration, where our human entity is able to travel off the planet.”

In order to perceive his presence aboard the station, astronauts had to wear a special augmented reality headset compatible with Microsoft\’s HoloLens technology.

During the demonstration, Schmid and his team had a conversation with European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Thomas Pesquet.

It was the first time this type of technology has been used to communicate in space.

“Our physical body is not there, but our human entity absolutely is there,” said Schmid.

“Imagine you can bring the best instructor or the actual designer of a particularly complex technology right beside you wherever you might be working on it.”

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