Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine Vol. 73, No. 02 1996

Page 38

is Dog IVfff Hunt Algorithm's Internet "WatchDog" only one of many ventures for the growing company


hen Fortune went hunting for this year's group of "very cool" companies, it caught scent of Algorithm Inc. because of the company's attempt to take a byte out of pornography on the Internet. And while Fortune saw an analogy to George Orwell's "Big Brother" in Internet WatchDog—a monitoring program adopted as a productivity tool by at least 25 Fortune 500 companies—Algorithm founder Chris Watkins says his creation was intended as anything but sinister. "The whole point of WatchDog was to take power out of our hands and put it in parents' hands, because we're in no position to force our value systems on others," says Watkins, EE '89, president and CEO of Algorithm. Rather than attempting to block access to offensive World-Wide Web sites, which is impractical considering the Web's proliferation, Internet WatchDog monitors computer use and takes snapshots of the screen. These snapshots are collected on a grid that parents can later review to determine what their children are looking at in much the same way that a telephone customer reviews monthly bills to see who their children are calling. WatchDog runs invisibly in the background, and it is password protected so tampering can be detected. Several companies discovered WatchDog and put it to use monitoring their employees' "Web surfing" habits. "Companies these days are run on computers. It is their business," says Young Kim, APhy '87, 36

GEORGIA TECH • Fall 1996

Algorithm's chief operTechnologies, ating officer. "Whether • « * Kimera is a periit's a law firm or whatscope-like device ever, it's all done on y that puts the user computers. It's just that in a realistic threethere has not been a mechadimensional environnism that gives you control of ment similar to that your company. created by virtual-reality helmets. "Technology is just zooming by But it doesn't require a full-time people. It has this tremendous attendant. benefit, but no one is looking at Mounted on gimbals with counthe tremendous costs. In our own terweights to keep it balanced, way, we're trying to offset the cost Kimera uses two miniature video of technology." monitors, one for each eye, to accurately replicate three-dimensional vision. Players use twin Venturer and Other handles with triggers to navigate Ventures the platform's virtual world, and body motion is translated bv two Internet WatchDog isn't the only Pentium computers into movement thing Algorithm is doing that's within the digital environment. "very cool": The Immerse-O-Scope boom's video inputs are based on actual • Venturer S2 Interactive human sensory perception, taken Looking like a bright from biomechanical data. The yellow minivan sans the wheels, gaming environment can be Thomson Entertainment's upgraded on a regular basis, Venturer S2 closes to seal in two increasing the machine's consumer riders, then treats them to a videoappeal. disk and motion-platform simulation that realistically mimics a roller-coaster ride. • Compu-Ceph, Algorithm is taking that conPresent It! and Create It! cept a step further with Venturer These three Windows-based S2 Interactive, which uses the video software programs are used by and aircraft-simulator motion base orthodontists and oral surgeons to to replicate air combat or any other give patients a realistic view of the situation Watkins and Kim can results of pending treatment or imagine. surgery. Unlike its predecessor, the Compu-Ceph allows orthodoninteractive version uses a Pentiumtists to meld X-rays and photos to based PC like those found on project the results of treatment, as desktops everywhere, instead of a well as archive records in images. high-end workstation, dramatiPresent It! and Create It! serve cally cutting production and consimilar functions, providing a sumer costs. graphical interface for patients in which they can easily assimilate complex procedures. • Kimera Being developed for Immersive —Hoyt Coffee

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