I recently saw a video (below) on Sonar Ruler by Laan labs and decided I’d buy it and give it a try. Since I’m a handy, do-it-myself type of guy there’s always a need for a tape measure, right? Well, at least, there’s always a need to have a sonar tape measure always in your pocket (installed on your phone). That’s precisely what Sonar Ruler is, it uses sound waves to measure the distance from the phone to a wall. Sonar Ruler is a new take on the many capabilities of the iPhone.
Using the Sonar Ruler is a bit finicky. You have to aim it at a wall, or a large object to work and you have to hold your phone just right, otherwise it wont work. Since I had seen the demo video before I had the app I already knew what you needed to do to get the distance reading. Holding the phone level, then using your other hand hold it at an angle from the speaker-edge of the phone (see the video). I’m not sure why this is necessary, but it is.
Accuracy was pretty decent. However, I definitely wouldn’t be cutting lumber with the measurements coming out of the app. For general purpose distances the app seems to work quite well. Simple Accuracy tests showed at one distance to be about 4″ off and on another to be about 8″ off. However, close enough for general measurements. I can see real estate agents using this for quick and easy measurements of say a bedroom or something to prospective buyers.
So long as you’re not looking for accuracy then this app is kinda fun. At $0.99 it will allow you to show off your iPhone on a whole new level to your friends. Potential customers looking for a really accurate sonar ruler (measuring tape) should just buy the real deal at your local hardware store, but for the rest of us Sonar Ruler works just fine.
Developer’s Website: http://labs.laan.com/