Applications of Wearable Computing to Human Exploration in Extreme Environments
Christopher E. Carr and Dava Newman
MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Wearable computers have the potential to enhance human exploration in extreme environments by serving as multifunctional tools, including serving as cognitive aids, communications tools, research assistants, and real-time health and performance monitors. Future planetary explorers may also use wearable systems to provide "just in time" training or retraining as well as to maintain a virtual abode of privacy while living in cramped quarters. Potential uses of wearable computing technologies for planetary exploration on Earth and Mars, as well as potential uses in weightless gravity environments, are identified and explored. Results from wearable computer-based biomedical monitoring and cognitive aid experiment, conducted by the author via ground studies and in weightlessness on the NASA KC-135 aircraft, are also discussed.