Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties Inc. has licensed Virginia Tech's award-winning augmented reality mobile technology to the investment firm Allied Minds Incorporated's new subsidiary, Precision Augmented Reality Works (PAR Works).

This new technology allows smart-device owners to use images to retrieve customized, tagged information on any arbitrary building, product, street scene, or object.

The technology, developed by Jules White, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, Mani Golparvar-Fard, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, and Hyojoon Bae, a computer engineering student, all at Virginia Tech, has already received international acclaim. They won the "Best Paper Award" at the 12th International Conference on Construction Applications of Virtual Reality (CONVR2012) and the technology garnered PAR Works a 2013 Design and Engineering Award from the Consumer Electronics Association.

"PAR Works' mission is to deliver customized, real-time and accurate information to the end user to help them make better choices," said White, co-founder and chief scientist for the Boston-based company.

The new technology can achieve millimeter-level accuracy with processing times of about one second, surpassing augmented reality technologies developed to date. PAR Works' Mobile Augmented Reality System (MARS), now in private beta, is a flexible solution that helps content marketers and developers expand the use of augmented reality in mobile applications. MARS enables the rapid delivery of precise information to consumers and users of information through user-generated photos.

"PAR Works is poised to expand the adoption of augmented reality applications across numerous user groups, offering an unprecedented level of precision and speed to consumers and businesses who increasingly depend on "smart" mobile devices such as phones and tablets," said Golparvar-Fard, co-founder and chief technology officer of PAR Works.

The creation of PAR Works marks the second licensing agreement between Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties and Allied Minds, a Boston-based private investment company that focuses on forming, funding and building start-ups based on early-state technologies developed at renowned universities and federal research institutions. Allied Minds also worked with VTIP to license innovative mobile security technology for another subsidiary, Optio Labs LLC. Allied Minds currently works with almost 40 top universities across the U.S. to license and commercialize unique technologies.

Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties is an affiliated corporation of Virginia Tech, tasked with helping to transfer the research discoveries made at the university to industry.

"We are pleased to begin this relationship with a premier U.S. investment company like Allied Minds. We look forward to PAR Work's future success and future partnering opportunities with Allied Minds," said Mark Coburn, president of Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties.

PAR Works brings augmented reality to a new level, offering digital imagery overlay accuracy to the ground-breaking precision of millimeters, all performed nearly instantaneously on any arbitrary mobile device. PAR Works technology is based on research developed by Jules White, Mani Golparvar-Fard, and Hyojoon Bae at Virginia Tech. See a product demo.

Allied Minds is a U.S. investment firm that deploys private equity to form, fund, manage and build start-ups based on early-stage technologies developed at renowned U.S. universities and federal research institutions. Allied Minds serves as a diversified holding company that supports its businesses with capital, management and shared services, and is the premier investment firm to utilize this novel and fully integrated approach to technology commercialization.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.