Vulcan Inc.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Project Halo)
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the Paul Allen company. For other companies, see Vulcan (disambiguation).
Vulcan Inc.
Type Private
Founded 1986
Founders Paul and Jody Allen
Headquarters Seattle, Washington, USA
Key people Paul Allen, Jody Allen, Barbara Bennett
Owners Paul Allen
Subsidiaries Charter Communications, Rose City Radio Corporation, Seattle Seahawks, Portland Trail Blazers, Mojave Aerospace Ventures (among others)

Vulcan Inc. is a company whose chief mission is to find smart solutions for some of the world's biggest challenges. Vulcan was founded in 1986 by Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, and Jody Allen. The company is the big "umbrella" company under which a host Allen family entities fall. It is headquartered in Seattle, Washington.

Subsidiaries include Vulcan Aerospace.[1]

Areas of Practice[edit]

The following is a partial list of what Vulcan is and does.[2]


  • Seattle Seahawks: Owned by Vulcan Owner Paul Allen since 1997, the Seahawks were the Superbowl XLVIII Champions. Seahawks fans are known as some of the loudest in the league.[3]
  • Portland Trail Blazers: Since basketball fan Paul Allen acquired Portland’s NBA team in 1988, the Trail Blazers have been in the playoffs 18 times, an achievement few NBA teams have surpassed.[4]
  • Seattle Sounders: Paul Allen helped bring Major League Soccer to the Northwest when Vulcan Sports and Entertainment joined the ownership group behind the Sounders FC. The 2007 announcement that the Sounders FC would become an MLS team was the result of years of work and enthusiasm on behalf of soccer fans.[5]
  • Green Sports Alliance: The Green Sports Alliance was conceived and founded by Vulcan Inc. and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Inaugural members and partners of the Alliance include the Seattle Seahawks, Portland Trail Blazers, Seattle Sounders FC. Green Sports Alliance Members have made a commitment to improve their environmental performance; reducing waste, conserving energy and water, and eliminating toxic chemicals, among many other ongoing initiatives and accomplishments.[6]

Technology and science[edit]

  • Allen Institute for Brain Science: Founded in 2003, the Institute is dedicated to accelerating understanding of the human brain. The team has produced groundbreaking public resources that now serve as staple research tools for scientists worldwide.[7]
  • Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence: The core mission of The Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2) is to contribute to humanity through high-impact AI research and engineering. We will do this by constructing AI systems with reasoning, learning and reading capabilities. Major projects include Project Halo,[8] Project Aristo,[9] diverse incubator projects with a strong engineering focus, and community activities dedicated to spurring technology development for student innovators.
  • Octopus (yacht): At 414-feet long, Paul Allen’s M/Y Octopus is one of the world’s largest private yachts. This luxury research vessel is equipped with advanced equipment and is regularly loaned out for exploration projects and used to assist scientists with research.[10]
  • Stratolaunch Systems: A unique air-launch-to-orbit spaceflight system designed to continue the United States’ legacy of progress in space travel. Its 13,500-pound (6,100 kg) carrying capacity is designed to take everything from satellites to supplies into low-Earth orbit, with the possibility of carrying people in the future. Initial test flights are projected to take place as early as 2017.[11] A crew-carrying payload option was proposed by Vulcan Aerospace in late 2014; but is not currently funded for development.[1]


Media and Entertainment[edit]

  • Seattle Cinerama:[12] The marquee screams “retro” but inside this downtown Seattle gem is a state-of-the-art theater with all the big-screen bells and whistles. Remodeled inside and out in 2014 to include digital laser projection and Dolby Atmos surround sound, 3D, high-frame-rate compatibility, and the ability to show 35mm and 70mm films. It’s regularly voted one of the city’s best places to catch a film.
  • The Hospital Club: In 2002, Paul Allen reopened the doors of the old St. Paul's Hospital in London's celebrated Covent Garden neighborhood, revealing a new 60,000-square-foot creative hub. The Hospital Club is now one of London's most important creative communities, providing a professional and social hub to those working in the film, television, music, advertising, contemporary art and design, publishing and journalism, interactive media, theatre and fashion industries.[13]
  • Vulcan Productions: Vulcan Productions produces compelling films, innovative digital programs and outreach initiatives designed to explore critical issues and inspire people to take action. Its programs have won numerous awards, including the George Foster Peabody Award, the Emmy Award, the Grammy Award and the Wildscreen Panda Award. Acclaimed films and series from the documentary group include Girl Rising (2013); This Emotional Life (2010); Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial (2007); Rx for Survival: A Global Health Challenge (2005); No Direction Home: Bob Dylan (2005); Strange Days on Planet Earth (2005); Black Sky: The Race For Space and Black Sky: Winning the X Prize (2004); Lightning in a Bottle (2004); The Blues (2003) and Evolution (2001).[14]

Global Citizenship[edit]

  • Great Elephant Census: The Great Elephant Census is designed to provide accurate and up-to-date data about the number and distribution of African elephants by using standardized aerial surveys of tens of hundreds of thousands of square miles. Dozens of researchers flying in small planes will capture comprehensive observational data of elephants and elephant carcasses. In many countries, surveys have not been flown in as many as 10 years, and without this data, it is challenging to assess the current state of elephant populations. Additionally, the existing data isn't well organized. The resulting database will provide valuable information to governments, scientists and NGOs so they can make smart decisions on how to manage elephant populations.[15]

Real estate[edit]

Technology ventures[edit]

Vulcan, Inc. has also directly led some technology projects, including the following:

Wireless spectrum[edit]

Vulcan Spectrum, a branch of Vulcan, Inc., participated in the United States 2008 wireless spectrum auction, paying $69 million for "A Block" spectrum in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton area, and $43.6 million for "A Block" spectrum in Portland-Salem.[17]

Vulcan FlipStart[edit]

In 2003, Vulcan began developing the Vulcan FlipStart, a subnotebook with a 5.6-inch screen. The company began to manufacture and sell the FlipStart in March 2007, and ceased production in May 2008.[18]

Project Halo[edit]

Project Halo[19] was a project that ran from 2002 to 2013, with the goal of creating a "digital Aristotle" that can correctly answer queries about scientific information, using artificial intelligence technology. Project Halo led to a number of spinoff technologies, including the wiki software bundle SMW+, the Semantic Inferencing on Large Knowledge (SILK) project[20] and the Automated User-Centered Reasoning and Acquisition System (AURA).[21]