Microsoft has trotted out its HoloLens augemented-reality headgear  at a videogame expo, at a French marketing gala and now in space.

Microsoft is riding a wave of buzz for HoloLens, its upcoming (but no one knows when or at what price) augmented reality headgear. Now NASA is sending HoloLens into orbit.

Microsoft and NASA, both of which could use a little whiz bang, announced Thursday a project called Sidekick, that will pair HoloLens with astronauts on board the International Space Station. The headgear is intended to “provide virtual aid to astronauts working off the Earth, for the Earth,” NASA says. Two HoloLens devices are slated to blast off in a few days in a resupply payload bound for the space station.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella proclaimed the announcement “unbelievably cool.” Indeed, Microsoft has been globetrotting (and now solar system-trotting) to tout the HoloLens’ hip factor. Microsoft showed off its potential videogame bona fides at the recent E3 games expo. (A WSJ reviewer wasn’t bowled over by what he saw.) Microsoft also talked up its potential appeal to advertisers gathered this week in Cannes, France.

Microsoft has yet to reveal how much HoloLens may cost, when it may be released, whether the device will be targeted at consumers or businesses, and how many units Microsoft will manufacture initially. It’s clear that the company aims to get people excited about HoloLens – and other devices powered by its Windows 10 operating system—well ahead of the on-sale date.


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