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Augmented Reality, No Google Glasses Required

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.

Riga, Latvia photograph by Amos Chapple/Getty

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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.

Hungry?

Get two-for-one drinks and appetizers tonight from 5 to 7p.m.

Look Around

Riga is a UNESCO World Heritage Site particularly known for its art nouveau and 19th-century wooden architecture.

Deal of the day

Rest your feet

Today only, get $5 off the price of a pedicab ride around town.

Spa Deal

Get a 60-minute massage for $80

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.

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From the July/August 2013 issue of Inc. magazine

MINDA ZETLIN | Columnist | Co-author, 'The Geek Gap'

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.



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