RenderMorphics and Reality Lab
The team at Qube has a long history of shipping leading-edge software products. In 1992, Servan Keondjian and Doug Rabson founded RenderMorphics, which over the next few years became a world leader in 3D graphics technology. The Reality Lab software developed at RenderMorphics was used in a wide range of applications including medical imaging, CAD, virtual reality and games.
Microsoft and Direct3D
In 1995 Microsoft needed to woo the game industry onto its new Windows 95 platform. At that time all games ran on DOS, as it was very hard to achieve high performance 3D on Windows. Getting high performance 3D graphics running efficiently on Windows 95 was essential to moving the game industry onto Windows 95.
Microsoft chose to buy RenderMorphics so it could absorb the RenderMorphics team experience and software into DirectX in the form of Direct3D. The RenderMorphics team were then responsible for building a 3D driver model for Windows 95 and implementing both low- and high-level Direct3D interfaces in DirectX for Windows.
Direct3D became hugely successful and enabled the explosion of the 3D graphics hardware market for the PC. This in turn enabled the next generation of hardware-enabled graphics we see in PC games today. 3D was here to stay; PCs and game consoles today support a degree of 3D functionality that was unheard of, except in the highest end workstations, five years ago.
In 1997, after completing the DirectX work, both Servan and Doug left Microsoft, feeling that Microsoft was a great place to ship products but not a place for innovation and new ideas.
Qube and Q Technology
Servan formed Qube, teaming up with Hugh Steers, who had just won an Emmy award for his groundbreaking work on non-linear editing systems. Hugh, an expert in high performance distributed databases, set to work on a database infrastructure. Doug took time out to work on his other core proficiency, operating systems. Doug completed the new driver model and the DEC Alpha port of FreeBSD, the OS that supports a significant proportion of the Internet including Yahoo and Hotmail (prior to its acquisition by Microsoft).
The plan was to develop 3D technologies which integrated seamlessly with the possibilities of the Internet. After Doug completed his OS work he joined Qube. With the addition of Peter Jeffery, Q Technology - the suite of software to solve the 3D Internet puzzle - was born.