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NASA Crowdsourced Ideas For The Next Great Astronaut Smartwatch App

5 October 2015, 3:50 pm EDT By Laura Rosenfeld Tech Times
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NASA's Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation held a series of contests on Freelancer.com over the past couple of months. One of them entailed designing an Astronaut Smartwatch App interface. Pictured here are the LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live smartwatches.  ( Maurizio Pesce | Flickr )

NASA and Freelancer.com recently announced a winner for their challenge to design an Astronaut Smartwatch App interface. The winning app is designed to help ISS crewmembers complete their everyday tasks.

Mechanical engineer Jocelyn Richard and industrial and UX designer Ignacio Calvo's app design, simply titled "B," came in first place in the contest, earning the Canadians $1,500 in prize money. The smartwatch app has a simple yet visually striking design that would allow ISS crewmembers to easily and efficiently keep track of their agendas, create timers or countdowns, receive notifications about schedules or ISS activities and monitor communications status.

This entry was for the series of challenges posed by NASA's Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation on Freelancer.com through the NASA Tournament Lab in an effort to crowdsource ideas for the issues NASA tackles in space exploration. The prompt for this particular challenge asked entrants to create a smartwatch app that would be useful to astronauts on the ISS. Participants were also asked to use the Samsung Gear 2 "as a hardware reference" for the design, according to the contest's description on Freelancer.com. 

Another Chicago-based freelancer that goes by the username betafind won the challenge to create an idea for an app that uses NASA's Disruption Tolerant Network and GPS satellites to build a map that shows the likelihood of the existence of network connectivity. This entrant was inspired by the trailer for Ridley Scott's new movie The Martian and the main protagonist's struggle to communicate with Earth from Mars. This freelancer earned a $500 reward for creating the winning design for this challenge.

The 23 contests that NASA organized on Freelancer.com over a two-month period garnered 1,535 entries in total. You can check out all of the challenges and the winners here.

Photo: Maurizio Pesce | Flickr

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