NASA sent holographic doctors to the International Space Station

NASA sent holographic doctors to the International Space Station

This technology marks a milestone in telemedicine and will be very useful in future deep space missions.
This technology marks a milestone in telemedicine and will be very useful in future deep space missions.

During these last two years, the new ways of reaching people have changed and there has been an enormous development of telemedicine due, in part, to the pandemic. Such was the most important advance in remote communication that occurred in October 2021, when on a NASA flight , Dr. Josef Schmidt, along with other colleagues, were the first holoported humans from Earth to reach space. to space.

This marks a milestone in the area of ​​telemedicine by allowing a surgeon to intervene in a job holographically in space. Thanks to the Microsoft Hololens Kinect camera and a computer with custom software from AEXA Aerospace, European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Thomas Pesquet held a conversation in the middle of the International Space Station with live images of Schmid and De la Pena, CEO of AEXA.

The news was released by NASA through a statement. “Holoportation is a type of capture technology that allows high-quality 3D models of people to be reconstructed, compressed and transmitted live and in real time. When combined with mixed reality displays like HoloLens, it allows users to see, hear and interact with remote participants in 3D as if they were actually present in the same physical space. Holoportation has been in use since at least 2016 by Microsoft, but this is the first use in an environment as extreme and remote as space .

“This is a completely new form of human communication over great distances,” said Schmid, adding, “Also, it is a new form of human exploration, where our human entity can travel off-planet. Our physical body is not there, but our human entity is absolutely there. It doesn’t matter if the space station is traveling at 17,500 mph and constantly moving in orbit 250 miles above Earth, the astronaut can come back three minutes or three weeks later and with the system up and running, we’ll be there at that location, live. on the space station.

This new form of NASA communication is a precursor to wider use on future missions. “We will use this for our private medical conferences, private psychiatric conferences, private family conferences and to bring personalities to the space station to visit the astronauts,” they commented from NASA and anticipated that the next step after this will be to combine holoportation with augmented reality , actually enabling teletutoring.

“Imagine being able to bring the best instructor or actual designer of a particularly complex technology right next to you wherever you are working on it. In addition, we will combine augmented reality with haptics. They can work together on the device, like two of the best surgeons working during an operation. This would put everyone at ease knowing that the best team is working together on a critical piece of hardware,” said Schmid.

While holographic communication and holoportation  is shaping up for future missions to Mars or deep space, here on Earth it already has direct applications in extreme environments such as Antarctica, offshore oil rigs and military operations zones.