We have developed a wearable device concept (The Personal Display) that Astronauts can use to interact intuitively with their environment in order to obtain location specific information without interrupting workflow. The innovation uses several current technologies such as Near Field Communication, eye tracking and Speech-to-Text. Our functional hardware prototype captures both tactile and touchless user inputs.

This project is solving the Space Wearables: Designing for Today’s Launch & Research Stars challenge.



There are thousands of pages of user manuals onboard the ISS. This number is ever increasing as new technology is added and guidelines are updated. Astronaut engineers, scientists and technicians need to have this information easily accessible without interrupting their work. Due to the sheer volume of data contained in these manuals, searching for instructions is currently very time consuming.

We have developed a wearable device concept, The Personal Display, that facilitates retrieval of relevant information about equipment in the immediate surroundings. We do this by using existing technology that enables interaction with the user environment to obtain location specific information without interrupting workflow. Practically, we retrieve information on the user environment using Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, where the information is bookmarked on NFC-tags which are placed at the site where the information is needed. The Personal Display reads these tags and displays the information in an efficient way that requires minimum effort from the user. Content can either be fixed (e.g. user manuals) or editable, which facilitates knowledge-sharing between different crews.

With our device, the environment guides the user, letting astronauts (and ground control) do their work with minimum associated administration. This allows knowledge access and sharing in a user friendly way that does not interrupt work.

The right information, where you need it, when you need it.

The implications of using this device are presumed to be:

  • Time savings in work
  • Improved communication
  • Minimized risk of faulty operations

=> Decreased costs and increased safety

Our design and functional prototype

For our design prototype, we placed emphasis on an ergonomic design that allows free use of hands while it is worn. The base of this prototype is made in silicone, a material that neither frays nor interferes with equipment onboard the ISS. Our design includes an NFC receiver, a flexible display, an eye tracking system which enables intuitive text navigation, and a microphone for editing information through our speech-to-text software. We also explored the possibility to use data projection onto the surface of the arm itself.

Our functional hardware prototype includes a programmed microprocessor that processes tactile user input from buttons as well as touchless, laser-based user input. All components were securely mounted on silicon gloves. We also completed codebase for Speech-to-text and screen control through eye-tracking Tobii-hardware.

Project Information

License: Apache License 2.0 (Apache-2.0)

Source Code/Project URL:


Design prototype: sketch and final piece -
Functional hardware prototype: circuit design and images -


  • Caroline Dahl
  • Maria Paz
  • Simon Hällström
  • Robin  Linder
  • Carla Carlson