NASA launched a contest where everyone is invited (except for the agency’s employees) to design an app that can be embedded into a smartwatch that would be used by astronauts in zero gravity conditions.
In the contest, which is organized and supervised by the NASA Tournament Lab (NTL), all programmers with or without expertise in designing mobile apps are invited. The app must ease astronauts’ daily tasks with a friendly interface and easy to use features.
The competition was launched on Freelancer.com, a well-known websites where free lancers meet with contractors and negotiate the costs and terms of various projects. On the site’s description of the contest, NTL said that participants are asked to build a general user interface for apps that can be installed on a smart wearable to be used by the International Space Station’s (ISS) crew members in their missions.
Participants should design the app so it fits with Samsung Gear 2, which was deemed “hardware reference” on the contest’s web page. Plus the new app should make astronauts more efficient in their daily tasks.
As of now, ISS crew members make use of tablets and laptops when trying to figure out what daily tasks they need to undertake. But that heavy gear is not that easy to handle in space. So, a smartwatch should be able to keep track of astronaut tasks in a less time consuming manner, NTL noted.
The app, however, needs to include a series of features designed after NASA’s explicit instructions. So, there should be a warning feature, a timer, and a way of displaying the ISS’s live ability of sending messages to or receiving data from Earth. This latest feature should be constantly updated. Additionally, all three features should be part of only an app, NASA requested.
The app should also achieve some clear purposes, NTL wrote on Freelancer.com. It should help astronauts stay focused on a task and the data required to accomplish that task and make them more efficient. The app should also have a feedback function to specific actions, plus the app’ features need to be clear and brief enough to be read form a small screen like that of Samsung Gear.
Participants could get a plus if the way data is displayed on the smartwatch’s screen is innovative. You can sign up for the competition until September 9. Additionally there is also a $1,500 award. And you can check other contests on NASA’s official site.
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