Even after MATE’s core functionality was decided upon, various elements were removed or altered with each new iteration. An unfortunate, albeit inevitable, result of this process was that many fascinating features and ideas had to be left unexplored. Here, we present the most interesting of these discarded concepts.
Embedding Rich Media
Contextual references help minimize procedure errors. By providing crewmembers with the capability to add their own photos, videos, and audio recordings, we free them to leave relevant notes in the most useful format.
It would be useful to allow the device to be used when turned in either orientation. Some users expressed a preference for typing in a landscape mode, while our device is fixed to a portrait orientation. We decided to keep the formatting consistent and to focus establishing core functionality that could later be adjusted for either orientation.
Passively gather information for training and procedure authoring
More passive data could be gathered from the procedure, such as by automatically measuring time to complete each task in order to make better estimations in the future.
Conduct field test with NASA analog missions
Usability tests in the future could be conducted during NASA’s NEEMO or Desert RATS analogue missions, the next best thing to testing in space.
Investigate physical constraints in real environments
While our tests attempted to simulate crowded conditions, we were not able to test our application in an actual space vessel. Testing on the Deep Space Habitat, for example would be useful to discover whether the core functionality supports execution in real contexts.