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Augmented Reality, No Google Glasses Required by Minda Zetlin
The PAR Works mobile app gives you augmented reality without the geeky glasses. This is how it might work if you were to photograph a scene in Riga, Latvia. Roll over the numbers below to take a closer look.
How It Will Work
The Boston-based start-up, PAR Works, uses 3-D modeling and the cloud to layer data accurately--down to a few millimeters--on top of real-time images and videos on your smartphone (and eventually on Glass).
Virginia Tech professors Jules White and Mani Golparvar-Fard initially developed the technology to bring augmented reality to the construction industry: A builder could photograph a wall and see notes identifying quality problems. But PAR says the potential business opportunities are many.
Imagine a car company offering pop-up tips for recharging your battery. Or a bar pitching deals to passersby. Data-overlay technology is not unique to PAR, but the start-up's app is one of the few that work on 3-D objects as well as 2-D.
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Riga is a UNESCO World Heritage Site particularly known for its art nouveau and 19th-century wooden architecture.
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Treasures To Bring Home
The area is known for its amber (Latvians sometimes refer to the Baltic Sea as the Amber Sea).
A Violent Past
Soviets, Poles, Germans, and Swedes have all ruled the now-independent city. Check out the Museum of Occupation for a recap.
Minda Zetlin is a business technology writer and speaker, co-author of The Geek Gap, and former president of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Like this post? Sign up here for a once-a-week email and you'll never miss her columns.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.