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New software from PAR Works takes Augmented Reality to an entirely new class of applications, says ReadWrite.

Unlike other augmented reality systems, virtual overlays created in PARWorks aren’t just tied to a geographical coordinate. Their technology leverages advanced image recognition techniques, allowing overlays to be tied to a specific window on the side of a building, or a particular knob on a car dashboard.

According to ReadWrite, creating a MARS overlay goes like this:

  • Upload 20-30 2D images of a building, object or location, taken from different angles.
  • In about 2-3 minutes, MARS renders that into a 3D model. This happens on the back end, and you never see the model.
  • Choose one or more of your 2D images and tag as many hot spots as you want with URLs or other data.
  • MARS applies those zones to its model, and the user can now view AR content from any angle.

A tourist app might query your general location, then pull down all visual maps matching “Times Square” so you can search for restaurants by storefront.

In other Augmented Reality news, This Week in Startups, interviewed Andrew McPhee of Obvious Engineering. Their first product is the Obvious Engine, a vision-based augmented reality engine for product makers, retailers and brands to link digital content and games to their physical products, packaging and media.

For content makers such as gaming studios, this means that the world will become interactive in a way that the Wii and Kinect have only just begun to scratch. Content becomes responsive to space.

The growth of the augmented reality market is expected to be exponential with the revenue growth from $181.25 million in 2011 to $5,155.92 million by 2016, at a CAGR of 95.35% from 2011 to 2016.

The most attractive of all the segments is the smartphones segment; followed by the tablets, and so on.

The major players that provide software for augmented reality are Total Immersion (France), Metaio (Germany), Wikitude (Austria), Zugara (U.S.), and Layar (The Netherlands).

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