Engineering Departments

Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties (VTIP) Licenses Augmented Reality Technology to Allied Minds’ PAR Works


Jules White and Mani Golparvar-Fard
Blacksburg, VA , November 30, 2012
Virginia Tech College of Engineering

Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties, Inc. (VTIP) 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 VTIP 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.

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

“VTIP is 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 VTIP.

About PAR Works

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 Dr. Jules White, Dr. Mani Golparvar-Fard, and Mr. Hyojoon Bae at Virginia Tech. Watch a product demo.

About Allied Minds

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.

About Virginia Tech and VTIP

As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 215 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 30,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $450 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. Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties, Inc. (VTIP), the affiliated corporation of Virginia Tech responsible for transferring research discoveries to industry, facilitates the licensing of inventions to businesses, encourages new faculty startup ventures, promotes the commercialization of copyrighted works and software, and supports the transfer of research and knowledge to other universities, research institutes and companies. More about VTIP, including an up-to-date list of technologies available for commercialization, can be found by visiting the VTIP website.


Lynn Nystrom
(540) 231-4371