Space station-based VR from Continuum (October 1998)

Continuum has been founded by merging Waldenwith Energy Innovations Group and plans to deploy immersive hardware and softwareenvironments in Houston, Stavanger and London.

Royce Nelson knows a thing or two about a name. One of the founders of Landmark Graphics (which he sold for an undisclosed but rumored large sum) Nelson more recently founded Walden 3 (Thoreau and Skinner having done the first two - see PDM V3 N3). His latest naming – of startup ‘Continuum’ is an evocation of our present 3D interpretational paradigm, plus time itself. Continuum is set "to change the way people interact with their data". According to Nelson, ‘oil is found in the mind – so we need to get the data out of the computer and into the mind as fast as possible’. Based on technology developed by NASA for the space station, Continuum’s paradigm is distinctly ‘Back-to-the-Future’ and may disconcert the average G&G-er.

Come fly with me!

Users of Continuum’s VR system for the interpretation of seismic and well data, are invited to ‘work with data the way you drive a car’. The flyer/driver operates the system with a 3D joystick devised by MUSE technology and also incorporates head tracking and voice recognition. The user interface is described as ‘the most significant improvement since Xerox Parc’ (where the mouse was invented). Operating (or as they say ‘flying’) this novel technology involves equally novel terminology. We ‘tethered’ to the moon, then tethered to ‘paper seismic application’. Collaborative computing took on a whole new meaning as Ken ‘grabbed onto’ Greg. Wobby wailing sounds emanated from the surround-sound hi-fi as we slithered down a seismic trace. Next we ‘Stopped time’, briefly as we donned our 3D specs to witness Ken flying above a geological horizon, as Greg flew below. Both of course from separate offices. ‘Option nine!’ fired up a seismic auto-picker seeded with a high pitched whine. Very spacey, very weird! Dock with Continuum on

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