Technology is useful when you're trying to figure out the distance between Hong Kong and Seattle, but when measuring surfaces at home, the old-fashioned way is generally still the best. As The Verge reports, a tech company called InstruMMents is offering an alternative to rulers and tape measures with a new product called the 01. The multipurpose pen, currently raising funds through Indiegogo, uses a laser beam to take precise measurements of irregular surfaces.
The 01 comes in three aluminum versions: a pen, pencil, and stylus-tipped instrument. Each tool includes a laser pointer at the opposite end for the recording the dimensions of flat planes, complex terrain, and everything in between. To use it, owners simply point the pen at one end of the object they wish to measure and roll it along the length of the edge. The dimensions are then displayed through a companion smartphone app, where users can share them on social media (InstruMMents gives the example of using it as a virtual door-frame measurement for sharing your kids’ height).
This type of technology isn’t new: Engineers, architects, and surveyors already use laser measuring tools for a variety of projects. But professional equipment can get pricey, with some products costing up to tens of thousands of dollars. The 01 isn’t cheap, but at $149, it’s a more affordable option for home use. The project, which is nearly halfway funded, is accepting pledges now through the rest of November.
[h/t The Verge]