Over at Kickstarter, there’s a fundraising campaign for Bagel, a new “smart” tape measure.
The Bagel is meant to replace a tape measure and several other devices. It has a 3 measuring modes: string, wheel, and remote.
The string measurement mode works in the same manner as a tape measure, but without the markings. It’s also unclear as to whether there’s a locking for the string or not. The wheel measurement mode allows you to roll the tape over curved or odd-shaped objects. There is also a laser-guided ultrasonic distance measurer, with a range of 16′ 4″.
See Also: ETape Digital tape Measure
The Bagel can save measurements and voice notes, and can connect to your iOS or Android smartphone via Bluetooth to transfer measurements.
The app also has a feature where you can track measurement changes, such as if you want to keep track of your body size. Yes, that’s a highlighted feature.
It’s powered by a LiPo battery that charges via micro USB cable.
Minimum “pledge” right now: $69
Pledge Now(via Kickstarter)
This will never replace a contractor’s tape measure – it simply won’t.
What happens the first time the tape is dropped from a 6-foot ladder? Plus, it has a LiPo battery, which can be more temperamental than a Li-ion battery.
The string mode measures up to 10 feet. The wheel mode, up to 33 feet, and ultrasonic up to 16 feet 4 inches. That’s not enough.
What if you have a dusty surface, how will that affect “wheel mode?” Where does the wheel mode start and stop – are there precise ways to do this?
I think that this is a great-looking tape measure. And it seems to be highly functional too. But it seems too impractical for daily users.
How do you space out a series of measurements? With a regular tape measure or ruler, you can do this quickly and easily, laying out marks every x-number of inches or feet. With this tape, you’d have to take many smaller steps, increasing the inaccuracy or chance of error.
The accuracy is said to be “within 0.5%” at room temperature conditions. They’re trying to make this better.
So let’s say you have a measurement of 6 feet. The accuracy would then be ± 0.36″, which seems quite high. At least this looks to be on the extreme end of the accuracy estimation.
They also say:
Our 0.5% error margin is a very conservative number that we put on Bagel, and it is getting lower and lower every day. Also, Bagel actually has a resolution of 0.05cm (3/16in). We just don’t display it because we think there are very few people who would absolutely need to measure in 3/16in (0.05cm) resolution.
3/16″ is not the same as 0.05 cm. Let’s just hope that the smaller value (0.05 cm) is the true resolution.
Somewhere else it’s mentioned that resolution is to one decimal point, which would be 0.1 cm or inch.
A lot of attention was given to the string, which is made from Dyneema, a high-strength ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) material (more via Wikipedia).
So again, it looks good on paper, and I imagine it would work great in use. But I really doubt it would take the place of a tape measure and pocketable laser distance measuring tool. It’s got features I like, but lacks the versatility of a traditional tape measure.
I’d be concerned about the accuracy of the string measure over time. There is going to be some “flex” and stretching over time if it’s anything less than say a metal cord. Not to mention moisture expansion.
From what I read about the spring material, stretch shouldn’t be a concern, or moisture expansion. It looks like they selected the perfect material for the application.
I believe its called “unobtainium”
The new trend seems to be putting electronics in a tool and calling it smart. In reality, they are often much dumber. I can’t imagine this ever being useful to a professional in its current form.
Also, at $70, who would buy one? You can get a more accurate/reliable/durable/useful tape measure for $5. I guess the amount of backing they’ve already received shows what I know 😉
Couldn’t believe the amount of backing it has and couldn’t agree more about the “smart” thing. Too useless to replace a regular tape and not good enough to replace a laser. So maybe just for body measurements? $70 though…that’s steep. Hipsters will love to see a designer whip out the latest and greatest gadget because it makes them seem like they are more capable, not the old fogey who whips out a real tape measure.
Brand it Dewalt and it’ll sell like hotcakes.
For a future version, I’d be totally down for that. version 3.0 or 5.0, or something. Version 1.0 here is a nice proof of concept, but, as noted, not quite up-to-snuff for anyone’s needs yet.
MINIMUM 8 M/26′ on all modes before I’ll consider it. I know the “Roll” mode already exceeds that, but, the rest need to follow suit. I have better tapes that can right now, so there’s literally no need to look into it for any reason.
But I DO like it. No doubt, proof-of-concept is a concept I like.
To paraphrase “Seinfeld”
“You know how to take the measurement, you don’t know how to transfer the measurement”.
Sometimes you actually need two or three tools to do the job, this will not replace a tape measure, it is a poor substitute for an inexpensive laser measurer and having to have my phone out on a job site is a non-starter.
What a tool. (And I don’t mean a useful price of equipment)
Pretty much does everything a real tape measure and a piece of string can do except at an outrageous price.
Gee mister! I’ll take ten! Or not.
Notice how to keep your hand on the end tab to hold in place wile measuring (see the video) ?
The tab won’t stay in place if you let go of it like a standard tape measure does.
The string is too flexible, and unless it is perfectly flat again the surface your measuring, (my guess) the end tab would flip up and fly back.
Thanks for sharing, Stuart! I’d give the CEO an A+ for innovation. However, I’m confused on who his target audience is. The video seems to show both a DIY crowd as well as construction workers. Would a DIYer really pay $70 for this? I wouldn’t. If he’s targeting a professional crowd, the (lack of) accuracy would certainly be a concern. I noticed today on Amazon that one can buy a Bosch GLM 15 for $30 if the need to somehow feel more “modern” is the chief driver (after watching his video) for targeting the DIYer crowd. The Bosch unit has a range of 50 feet and an accuracy of 1/8″. No “strings” attached, though. (Pardon the pun.)
I really don’t know.
I also noticed the GLM 15 for $30, I thought it was a carryover from the Father’s Day deal: https://toolguyd.com/bosch-glm15-laser-measurer-deal-fathers-day-2016/
Thanks for the link!
I found my GLM15 to be accurate to 1/16″ when I tested it against a 35′ tape. I checked 5′ increments all the way out to 35′ using a chunk of 2×4 as the reflecting surface.
This will end up on an info-mercial soon !! or shark tank and then be sold off to one of those gimmick tool companies and then show up on the floors of homedepo and lowes just in time for xmas !!
I will say it is neat but really how am i suppose to mark a wood board that i want to drill hols into at every 1-1/4″ not gonna happen, gonna get out that lufkin that in my tool box.
I could see it for the “not really diy person” that just wants to measure something like the fridg door or the window for when they need to buy a new fridg or new window they have the rough measurement and then a real tape measure will be used
that tout about having to not pull out a pen an paper to write down a measure, well that scrap of paper will be in my back pocket and if i get to the store i pull it out and see the measure, the bagel and the app – well i got to turn on my phone scan my finger scroll to the app open the sub folder ( cuz you know i have to have my apps grouped with like minded apps ) ope the app the pick which measure i made of the fridge or window, way way too many steps
ill stick with the non i-whats-i-doodle smart thingy and go analog
good luck to the dude
Ultrasonic distance measure’s are notoriously bad.
If people want to get serious about measuring things they will use a Leica D510 – game over.
maybe it take a measurement, but it seems like a pain to mark 3′ on a board… you have to get the line out to the exact spot and then mark it at the tape?
its the same issue I have with the laser measure, but atleast that works for long distances and without the need to get a clip on the other end of the wall or whatever.
Info-mertial 29.99 and it’ll sell like hot cakes, Father’s Day, Black Friday. I see it being more of that highly impractical gift that you get because a relative or friend is scared to get you another tie, but are ties really that bad? You could at least turn a tie into a useful measurement device.
I actually laughed at that! A tie does a third of what this “tool” does!
IF i lived in San Francisco and IF i was paying $3500 a month for my small one bedroom apartment overlooking the freeway i would definitely consider this tape measure. it would be so handy for hanging my ducati pictures. also it would be a great conversation when i had my other bearded hipster pals over for gourmet pizza.
Don’t knock having bearded hipsters over for gourmet pizza. Gourmet pizza is awesome, and bearded hipsters bring good beer.
Kickstarter is annoying. I want it next day Amazon and that’s it
Nope. Not for me. I’m not anti-tech so much as I am keel it as simple as you can so it still works. The deal killer is the non-tape tape measure. Now, if it had a premium marked blade, and added the laser distance measure, I’d consider it more useful. Measuring tools that require you to use the case as a reference point are notoriously time consuming to use.
gimmick tool that only non real tool users will use (or not use)
From what I see it cant stand out ability, so its basically useless.
Meant ” it has no stand out capability”.
milwaukee one key tape measure coming soon.
TO be fair there are a few cases where I like the smart tool concept. Take General Tool’s distance measurer device. for the little extra I can shoot measurements of a room – keep them in my phone which I keep on me. and it does a few things more – than the 45 dollar Bosch distance measurer with the same basic accuracy.
So OK give be a BT tape measure that while still being a tape – has the ability to display the measurements and then also shoot those to my phone. I might be interested. but the resolution as to be right and as stated eariler the clear start and stop has to be accurate.
I bet they end up selling the data tracking/voice notes/phone integration aspect to a major tape measure company.
The string part, I could see being useful for something like clothes making, taking measurements of irregular shapes like the human body.
The rest though… just seems like they were trying to stuff in additional features.
Maybe it’s a doctoral thesis concept to test gullibility amongst consumer types? Hipsters? QVC shut ins? Party prankters?
And I’m being almost serious.
I’m shaking my head, and Stuart has pretty much summarized my feelings. Also: the “fork” is an everyday tool that hasn’t changed in over a century, and I’m just fine with that.
Yeah, sure…but with a laser fork you KNOW how far you are from your food…well, give or take 5%.
There is a good reason some things don’t change for hundreds of years. If it works, keep it! I’m not saying there is no room for improvement but you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Also, the screen is on the bottom so you cant see it without taking it off the surface, therefor making it impossible to do even basic layout.
The ONLY group people I see POSSIBLY using this besides hipsters are interior decorators. A job where you don’t need to reproduce measurements and extreme accuracy is not important.
I have one of these. It SUCKS! You have to pull the string out s-l-o-w-l-y or it gets confused and gives an inaccurate measurement. Then you have s-l-o-w-l-y let the string go back in, you can’t just release it, or else it won’t go back to zero. The wheel is not much better. Nor is the ultrasonic one. I’ve been waiting a year and a half for a firmware update. None available. This thing is, at best, half-baked. If it actually worked as advertised, it would be great.
Ha! Got one as a gift. Took the same measurement 3 diff ways and got 3 diff results. :/ doesn’t work in my world. #regift.
The bagel smart tape measure looks great,the only thing is that I have no confidence in this company.