This Handheld 3D-Mapper Is the James Bond Tech We Were Promised

Your tape measure: 'Robots took my job!'

By Kirk Miller

 
Instrumment 01
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23 June 2017

It seems like real-life tools are finally catching up to the movies. Take the aluminum InstruMMents 01, being billed as the “the world’s first dimensioning instrument.” Meaning, forget the ruler and the tape measure: You can now measure any object in three dimensions just by rolling this pen-shaped device over it.

“So, what’s the first thing you measured?”

We’ll get back to that.

Hailing from the (awesomely named) Mladin Barbaric, founder of design studio Pearl and the industrial designer behind the fitness-tracking Misfit Shine, the 01 is a modern take on the handheld surveyor’s wheel.

At one end of the 01 you attach a pen, pencil or stylus (you choose one option when you buy it). The other end has a roller and a laser — as the roller turns, sensors record the distance it travels in 0.1 mm increments (or whatever measurement standard you prefer). The laser helps you gauge where to begin and end your measurement. You can also program the laser to blink at predetermined increments to help space measurements equally.

From there, you can log your height/weight/depth dimensions in the cloud, convert measurements to whatever unit or scale you want, and even do some 3D mapping of the curves of your measured object.

We played around it with it for a bit — we measured our phone, a water bottle and a desk, thank you very much — and once we got the hang of it, the 01 seemed to provide accurate measurements, as well as being pretty fun to use. It's probably a bit more for a hardcore designer than a casual homeowner, but it could make a great gift for a tech-savvy builder or daydreamer.

The 01 is available now starting at $149.

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