NASA Launches Apps contest for smartwatches

Why mobilize the precious time astrophysicists and engineers from NASA when you can ask the public to design smartwatchs applications for astronauts? It is precisely the whole purpose of the contest posted on the site Freelancer will allow the winner to win $ 1,500 and see its application used in space!

The application will be developed primarily for Samsung Gear 2

Samsung Gear 2 in space

First specificity contest posted on the site Freelancer, applications for connected watches designed for astronauts will be developed on Samsung Gear 2 priority, certainly on show format typed Gear 2. NASA says that the contest is based on the design design of the user interface of an application dedicated to the astronauts, for use on the ISS, the international Space station. These applications will ensure the organization and safety of astronauts aboard, and thus fulfill specific criteria

The app should allow the deployment of a single timeline and agenda with practice can be found on laptop or iPad (like Google Calendar, so).

It should include a color code to warn astronauts dangers

It must be possible to see at a glance the status of communications between Earth and the ISS (voice or video) so that the astronaut know if he is still well connected

The application must include a timer to complete tasks on time and optimizing the duration of certain activities and include notifications based on the conduct held by astronaut (if it takes too long to perform a task, the ‘app must notify him or encourage him if he had a good time).

It is unclear why the NASA turned its hopes to the Gear 2 and Android Wear, but it is explicitly asked developers and interface designers to design a tool that will be useful to astronauts in space. The winner of the competition will be rewarded with a bonus of $ 1,500 and the glory of seeing his application used beyond the stars. There are four weeks to participate and candidates are not yet rushed to the gate, as they are at present 9. The website has a database of 16 million subscribers, so this figure should increase proportionally in the coming days. NASA proposes more public input on its missions, it has also made a covenant with the site Freelancer on another project in July, asking new tools designed specifically for Robonaut 2, a robot on this ISS.

NASA also launched a competition to design new tools for Robonaut 2, the humanoid robot to the ISS

technical issues

On the contest site, technical issues participants have increased since the launch of the challenge. The questions concern in particular the design of the interface, some developers have considered whether to adapt the interface to the circular design of the future smartwatch from Samsung. Should we develop exclusively on Android Wear while Gear 2 runs Tizen? NASA says yes to Android, while based on the format of the Gear 2. One participant complained of the lack of information to design the application, NASA replied that the contest is essential to develop a design of intelligent and innovative interface, easy to navigate and well designed and optimizing the size of a small screen to communicate and interact with other astronauts.

And as NASA has humor, a participant said in English: “As a space and tech enthusiast, it is my duty to enter this contest” (As a space enthusiast and technology, I have to participate in this competition), what NASA says, “the call of duty” (call of duty).