NASA needs your help to design a smartwatch app for astronauts

2015: A freelancing odyssey

Would you like the opportunity to boast that your ideas are so good they’re out of this world? No, literally out of this world. The ‘on the wrist of an astronaut in a space station’ kind of out of this world. Because NASA are offering you the chance to truthfully pronounce this in their competition on Freelancer.com that’s calling for freelance developers to submit their design for an app that would help astronauts perform their duties while in orbit. They’re also offering £960 ($1500), but, really, it’s mostly about the bragging rights.

The space agency are looking for someone to design a smartwatch app interface, using the Samsung Gear 2 as a hardware reference, that will help astronauts perform their daily activities aboard the International Space Station. Anyone can send in their pitch in the form of image files over the next 4 weeks. Considering Freelancer is one of the largest crowdsourcing marketplaces in the world, and NASA are somewhat well known, there’s a good chance there will be a couple of responses.

NASA states that entries should demonstrate the design’s “navigation, interaction, layout, look, feel, etc.” To give participants a bit more to go on, NASA have also included a list of activities that the app will be used for. There is a Crew Timeline application that should display the day’s agenda with the ability to easily navigate to another day in the past or future. They also want a colour coded cautions and warning application that will help astronauts easily identify any problems on the space station. They also want an application that will display when is best for the astronauts to communicate with the ground via voice or video, as well as what is essentially an alarm and timer system to help with performing duties. And they want all of this to be possible with a raise of the arm and a touch of the wrist, the main aim being to increase efficiency and provide feedback.

It’s very few of us that get to leave earth’s atmosphere but if you have some ideas and like the idea of them blasting off when you can’t, have a look at NASA’s brief here.


Main Image: Flickr ©Paul Hudson