New app allows you to spot the ISS using Augmented Reality

Solwey Consulting an Austin-based small business owned by a woman, which specializes in data, design, and software solutions, has recently revealed its participation in the creation of NASA’s unique mobile app called ‘Spot the Station’.

Solwey collaborated with Ensemble Consultancy on a project called NOIS2, which was contracted by NASA’s Open Innovation Services. Ensemble, as a NOIS2 vendor, enlisted Solwey’s services for the development, testing, and maintenance of the app.

Solwey was chosen from twelve software agencies to create a unique application that incorporates augmented reality (AR) and interactive map visualizations. The ‘Spot the Station’ app enables users to track the International Space Station (ISS), notifying them when it is nearby. The app integrates AR technology to overlay the ISS’s trajectory with a phone’s camera view, enhancing the stargazing experience.

“We’ve learned a significant amount in working with a brand as big as NASA on a cutting-edge project that aims to inspire and educate, empowering people worldwide to experience the awe-inspiring sight of the space station passing overhead,” commented Andrew Drach, co-founder and CEO of Solwey. “This project is a testament to how custom software helps solve some of the greatest challenges society faces — and it exemplifies our dedication to delivering cutting-edge solutions that tackle unique challenges across diverse industries.”

The ‘Spot the Station’ application presents a user-friendly layout, displaying a list of upcoming chances to see the International Space Station (ISS) based on chosen locations. It also includes interactive 2D and 3D maps to track the current trajectory of the ISS worldwide. Furthermore, users can access additional resources such as news and informative details about the station directly within the app.

Solwey’s role in the project was to create open-source React Native code that can be used for both the front and back ends. This code is compatible with iOS and Android platforms.the supervision of Solwey engineers.NASA’s GitHub account.

“Helping create the Spot the Station app was an exciting endeavor that pushed our creative boundaries. Every user experience unlocked by this application is made possible through the efficient back-end code developed by our team to receive data from the space station, calculate its live trajectory and current spatial position relevant to the user-provided location and produce a list of future sighting opportunities, all in an almost real-time manner,” said Monika Jociunaite, co-founder and creative director of Solwey.

Solwey Consulting noted that since its founding in 2016 it has developed over 80 digital products, including a logistics platform for perishable items and an AI-powered machine learning platform for data scientists.

The app called ‘Spot the Station’ is now accessible for downloading on both iOS and Android platforms. This release aligns with the 23rd anniversary of the ISS.

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