The views expressed in this post are my own and do not represent an official NASA position on the Google Glass technology.
I wanted to share my #ifIhadglass submission but add more detail than the mere 50 words we were allowed for the contest. I have always been sort of a Blue Sky thinker at NASA, trying to see the big picture beyond what we are trying to do today to what we could be doing tomorrow. When I heard about Project Glass last year I knew pretty much right away this was a tech we could use at NASA. Though like most of my ideas, management sort of looks at me funny not seeing the potential. My plan was to get Glass then try to find some folks around the center to sort of skunkworks refine the concept then bring it to management to let them see the potential. I am buying the Glass myself, given I don’t have management buying on the project.
Right now we live stream out ISS telemetry to the web and iOS/Android apps so it should be possible to take a subset of that data to become Google Now-like cards for how the vehicle is doing. Flight controllers off console as well as the station crew could use that type of data. Having status whether it be nominal or off-nominal while you are doing experiments or getting ready to come in for your shift would be pretty helpful.
For Inflight maintenance, Glass could provide hands-free E-Procedure steps.
The next use case was during repairs to have sort of step by step procedure in your near FOV. But also I can see us using it when developing the procedure the engineers on the ground can be hands-free snapping shots or hanging out with other experts or the crew to review the steps on the test article. Then when the crew is doing the actual repair, they can hang out with the engineers to help verify the onboard configuration is what we expected and work through any deviations in the planned maintenance.
A concept for hardware inventory card during bench review
Preflight the crew and the ground team do all sorts of inspections and hardware familiarization’s so having some sort of inventory system card giving the user on what the hardware is, when it launches, where it will be stowed, etc would be helpful for both training and configuration management.
Interior Mapping card to a storage location.
The space station is larger than a typical 5 bedroom house and since you are floating with no reference to what is up an interior mapping/navigation system could help crews after they first arrive get their bearings, but also in an emergency situation where visibility and confusion could get them turned around. Plus there is stowage everywhere so if we can improve the stowage tracking being able to use maps to not only find where to go but the location of the particular water bag, replacement hardware, spare clothes would be helpful. This one I struggled with given that the station is orbiting the Earth every 90 minutes so GPS isn’t going to help since you are inside the moving object you are trying to navigate (curse you, orbital mechanics ) but maybe we can come up with some sort of bulkhead pattern like a large QR code that the camera on Glass can read to know which interface/hatch that is to then be able to give directions to another module/docking port/spacecraft for the crew to float to. This one might be tricky, but we can test it in the mockups on the ground to see if we can figure it out.
Science experiments on the ISS using Hangout on Air with classes on the ground.
Public Outreach was an easy use case. The crews onboard as well as PAO events on the ground could use Glass for HOAs with classrooms, and other interested fans to see what life is like on the Space station or during an Analog test (like we do underwater with NEEMO or in the field with DRATS) or other parts of NASA. Plus if we can get Glass certified for the spacewalk, HOA for outside the station would be wicked cool.
Other use cases I tossed around with some folks is in Mission Control so that the operator on the console can Hangout with the specialist off the console and work through an issue. Being able to see what the operator is seeing and talking through the problem instead of having to come in for small issues could be of use. Also during medical emergencies, the flight doctors can see what the crew is doing and help talk them through the procedure with the medical equipment.