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.