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By Crystal Carter, Texas A&M Innovation, April 9, 2024

Imagine a world where product assembly is no longer frustrating, where traditional instruction manuals, which can be cumbersome and difficult to follow, are replaced by an innovative augmented reality (AR) powered instruction technology, BRICKxAR.

BRICKxAR, developed by Wei Yan, Ph.D., Mattia Flabiano III AIA/Page Southerland Page Endowed Professor in the School of Architecture at Texas A&M University and co-inventor Seda Tuzun Canadinc, Ph.D., former Ph.D. student in the Yan Lab and Visiting Assistant Professor at Webster University, utilizes AR overlays to provide users with intuitive, step-by-step guidance for assembling block toys and furniture, making assembly processes more efficient and accessible to users of all skill levels.

The patented technology is on the path to commercialization, and key to the success of BRICKxAR’s journey has been the support provided by a variety of commercialization resources including financial support and entrepreneurial mentorship programs. These resources have enabled Dr. Wei Yan and his team to refine the technology, assess market potential, and work to bring BRICKxAR to market more quickly and effectively.

Exploring the road to commercialization for the BRICKxAR technology

The commercialization journey of BRICKxAR has been facilitated by the support of commercialization resources such as the Translational Investment Fund (TIF) and the U.S. National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps (I-Corps™). These resources have provided crucial funding, mentorship, and networking opportunities to help Dr. Wei Yan navigate the complexities of bringing technology to market.

“TIF funding was instrumental in advancing the development of BRICKxAR,” said Dr. Wei Yan. “It provided us with the resources to make significant improvements to the technology to a point of readiness for potential industry partners.”

In addition to TIF, Dr. Wei Yan has also benefited from participation in the NSF I-Corps™ program. Through the I-Corps™ program, Dr. Wei Yan and his team have gained valuable insights into market dynamics, customer needs, and potential business models for BRICKxAR. They have also had the opportunity to engage with industry experts, investors, and potential customers, helping to validate the commercial potential of the technology and identify opportunities for further development and growth.

“The I-Corps™ program has supported our goal to commercialization,” said Dr. Wei Yan. “It has provided us with the skills, resources, and connections we need to navigate the commercialization process effectively and position BRICKxAR for success in the marketplace.” With the support of commercialization resources, Dr. Wei Yan has been able to navigate the challenges and work to bring BRICKxAR to market.

The latest development of BRICKxAR represents a milestone in Dr. Wei Yan’s journey as an inventor. The team and collaborators have developed a business model and research and development plan to increase safety and productivity in the architecture/engineering/construction industries, which can be expanded to other industries, such as manufacturing, medicine, and healthcare, and STEM education. By providing robust 3D AR instructions and allowing the handling of the assembly model, BRICKxAR has the potential to be used at different scales ranging from manufacturing assembly to construction. With each iteration, the platform continues to evolve and improve, incorporating new features, functionalities, and applications to meet the ever-changing needs of users.


Texas A&M Innovation promotes an innovative and entrepreneurial culture among A&M’s research community and uses a rigorous process to guide projects from new innovations through market commercialization. We encourage industry partnerships, support startups and entrepreneurial commercialization, make connections to mentors, funding, and other critical resources to accelerate commercialization of System IP. Through our work we strive to promote regional economic development, and ultimately impact the lives of people locally, nationally and globally.

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