Fakespace Systems to sell immersive display systems for energy resource exploration

Kitchener 12 June 2001 Fakespace Systems Inc. has closed four new contracts to provide immersive displays to organisations involved in energy resource exploration. The sales, to commercial oil and gas companies and leading universities, mark an increased acceptance of the value of visualisation for seismic data analysis and subsurface evaluation.

Fakespace Systems signed on to provide visualisation systems to Phillips Petroleum, Petrobras, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and the University of Oklahoma. These include a broad range of displays that are used by geologists, geophysicists, and engineers to promote collaboration and better understanding of complex data, ranging from fully-immersive room environments to depth-enhanced displays that fit in an average size conference room.

"We are working very closely with energy and natural resource companies to develop visualisation systems that improve the efficiency and productivity of exploration teams," said Jerry King, manager of commercial and channel markets at Fakespace Systems Inc. "Our commitment and interest in meeting the industry's requirements for quality systems and service is showing results, with world-wide sales."

Since January 2001, Phillips Petroleum has taken delivery of five conCAVE displays from Fakespace Systems for use at its facilities in Bellaire, Texas, Stavanger and Tananger, Norway, and Anchorage, Alaska. The conCAVE, which enables multidisciplinary teams to work with spatially correct, "standing in the tunnel" visualisations, was originally developed by Phillips and is exclusively licensed to Fakespace Systems. The company was also contracted by Phillips to develop a volumetric mapping and interaction software API specifically for the conCAVE environment. The API, called Avignon, has been made available to selected oil/gas software developers for integration into their applications later this year.

"We are pleased that Fakespace Systems is making Phillips' technical innovations commercially available," said Dennis Neff, senior principal research geophysicist at Phillips Petroleum Company. "The conCAVE systems are used daily by Phillips geoscientists, and new software developments by our visualisation group continue to enhance and exploit the advantages of the conCAVE screen. We look forward to a continued strong relationship with Fakespace in commercialising and marketing Phillips' visualisation innovations."

The University of Oklahoma, which has strong research and educational programmes in the earth sciences, has also purchased a conCAVE display and CubicMouse interaction device for its School of Geology and Geophysics. The conCAVE will be used for 3D seismic interpretation, 3D geologic and petrophysical modelling, and other applications in the earth sciences.

Petrobras, headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, also took delivery of a Fakespace Systems visualisation system earlier this year. The company purchased an ImmersaDesk R2 stereoscopic display driven by a Silicon Graphics Onyx2 for use in the development of exploration technology that reduces risk and optimises exploitation. This transportable system offers a four-ft. by five-ft. rear-projected screen that can be adjusted from horizontal to nearly vertical.

A RAVE Display for NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) is a center for technological education and research located in Trondheim, Norway. One area of focus for research at the university is data visualisation and numerical analysis for the localisation and recovery of petroleum resources. The university boasts a digital laboratory with geodata and production data from the Gullfaks field in the North Sea, which is used for both teaching and research. Projects often include commercial partners such as Norsk Hydro, Statoil, Shell, TotalFinaElf, BP and Enterprise.

To better leverage the value of the software and data stored at the digital laboratory the university contracted with Fakespace Systems to custom design and install a RAVE (Reconfigurable Advanced Visualisation Environment). The RAVE is a large-scale modular system that supports multiple viewing modalities including immersive room environments, flat wall displays, angled theaters, and a variety of other configurations.

In early June, Fakespace Systems completed the installation of three RAVE modules at NTNU, each with an eight-ft. by eight-ft. rear-projected viewing surface.

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