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Company Origins
AuSIM was founded in 1998 by William Chapin to provide interactive, real-time audio simulation solutions to mission­critical applications.   This is the story leading to the founding. 
CRE Beginnings
AuSIM's technology "AuSIM3D" is a fifth generation develop­ment from the inception by Scott Foster at Crystal River Engineering (CRE).  Mr. Foster founded CRE in 1986 on a contract with Beth Wenzel from NASA Ames Research Center's Auditory Perception Lab to develop a real-time immersive aurali­zation system to complement the real-time immersive visuali­zation system developed in the collaborating Visual Perception Lab by Scott Fisher at Ames, from 1984 through 1990.   The Ames immersive virtual environment program was the birth of "Virtual Reality", the term coined by Jaron Lanier, who was also contracted by the lab to develop the dataglove.   CRE's products were all hardware-based, and included, in order of release, the Convolvotron, Acoustetron, Beachtron, Alphatron, Acoustetron II, and Snapshot. 

Immersive Virtual Environment Technologies
Mr. Chapin moved his immersive virtual environment research from University of Illinois to Stanford University in 1989, where he founded the Virtual Space Interest Group (VSIG) which distributed an Internet newsletter and hosted a weekly speaker series of virtual reality and human-interface visionaries.  At Stanford's Center for Design Research, Mr. Chapin initiated the Virtual Space Exploration Lab (VSEL) and led a dissertation project in the lab developing immersive collaboration called DesignSpace.  At CDR, Mr. Chapin collaborated with Dr. James Kramer in developing the CyberGlove and dexterous manipulation.   Kramer and Chapin co-founded Virtual Technology, which later merged with Immer­sion Corporation, another immersive technology spin-out of the same laboratory of Stanford's Center for Design Research.  AuSIM's AuTrak common tracking instrument support tech­nology was born in this Stanford CDR laboratory. 

Telepresence Research Connection
In 1991, Scott Fisher left NASA to found Telepresence Research with Brenda Laurel.   Telepresence hired Mr. Chapin as its first non-founding technical employee.   Mr. Chapin built an immer­sive virtual reality demonstration system, intregrating Division (graphics), Fakespace (visual display), and Crystal River Engineering (3D audio) technologies.   The demon­stration system highlighted CRE's "room simulation" technology, which was a first for real-time room acoustic auralization.   Over the next five years, Foster and Chapin collaborated on many auralization technology developments. 

Aureal Creation
In 1996, Crystal River Engineering (CRE) merged with MediaVision to form Aureal Semiconductor (later reduced to Aureal Inc.).   MediaVision was originally a group of brilliant engineers who brought Stanford CCRMA's wavetable synthesis and 16-bit audio to the personal computer market, directly competing with Creative Lab's 8-bit SoundBlaster PC monopoly.  Aureal hired William Chapin to the position of Director of Advanced Technologies, reporting to CTO Scott Foster, leading a group of scientists and engineers to develop technologies for subsequent generations of Aureal products.   CRE became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aureal, continuing to produce products for non-consumer buyers.  William Chapin held the second title of Chief Engineer at CRE since CRE products featured advanced technologies that would later trickle down to Aureal consumer products. 

Aureal Divesture
In 1997 Aureal decided to focus all of its corporate energies on the consumer entertainment markets, primarily personal computer gaming and consumer tele­vision.   The Crystal River Engineering subsidiary was term­inated.   Mr. Chapin negoti­ated the rights to all of the advanced technologies applicable to mission-critical markets, including WaveTracing™. 

AuSIM Engineering Solutions
In 1998, Mr. Chapin founded the sole proprietary AuSIM Engineering Solutions, with a strong commitment from the US Navy.  Until the bankruptcy of Aureal in 2000, Aureal and AuSIM worked collaboratively in the marketplace, exchanging market and sales leads (entertainment leads to Aureal; mission-critical to AuSIM).   The technology, however, was firmly and forever divided in 1998.   AuSIM shared no souce-code with Aureal, re-writing every piece of all technologies as a new generation of code base.   As part of the deal, AuSIM maintained the CRE code base and took on support and service of all existing CRE customers. 

More History:   Origins  —  First Decade  —  Code Generations  
Download an AuSIM company overview brochure in PDF (138 KB).
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