Augmented Reality (AR) turns your device into a tape measure
Here's another handy tool that has been compressed into a piece of software inside your phone.
Measuring apps utilise your devices camera in conjunction with physical movement detected by the gyroscopic sensor to determine the relative position of the surface in front of it in correlation with points on that flat surface. The distance between two points gives the length or width of an object.
The spirit level function utilises the accelerometer, which detects changes in pressure on miniscule springs inside the device. The device processes this change in pressure and translates it into a meaningful change in space or orientation.
You can use the "Measure" app on any current Apple device. Newer devices such as the iPhone 12 Pro use LiDAR scanners for accurate 3D scanning. This can be used to instantly measure a persons height.
For Android devices, you have various options on the Play Store:
> AR Ruler (pictured) is good for measuring items on flat surfaces. The same developers have an app called AR Plan 3D, which is designed to measure rooms and create floor plans.
> Moasure is a pretty cool app which measures distances a bit differently. The user places their device on a surface, then simply moves it. The app measures the distance from point A to point B.
> Unfortunately, Google withdrew their Measure app from the Play Store for unknown reasons.
> Bubble Level is one of many apps that can indicate whether a surface is level or plumb.
Note that measuring apps are not 100% accurate.
Just as you no longer need to take your wallet to the shop; a camera on holiday; or a map on a car journey, you won't get caught short in B&Q without a tape measure.
Next week we will investigate a new app that will replace your power tools.
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