In Space, a Laptop Doubles as a VR Headset

On Earth, the engineers and developers in charge of building the Oculus Rift and other virtual-reality headsets are concerned about weight: Who wants to strap on something so heavy it cricks their neck?

But in space, weight isn’t an issue, which is why an astronaut can strap a laptop to his head via a heavy and complicated-looking rig and use it as a virtual-reality device. NASA astronaut Terry Virts recently did just that to train himself in the use of SAFER (Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue), a jetpack worn during spacewalks. (In the movie Gravity, George Clooney’s character uses a highly unrealistic version of SAFER to maneuver around a space shuttle.)

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While a laptop-as-VR-device can work in zero gravity, don’t try it at home; stick instead with something like Google Cardboard, which offers a similar experience at a fraction of the weight.

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Image: @AstroTerry

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One Response to “In Space, a Laptop Doubles as a VR Headset”

  1. Neil Cooper

    >> Who wants to strap on something so heavy it cricks their neck?

    In zero G, the weight of the laptop isn’t an issue, but actually it still has the same mass and therefore momentum, so you could still just as easily pull a neck muscle.