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The terribly named InstruMMents 01 uses a laser to make digital measurements

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How do you measure something that’s not in a straight line? Rulers and tape measures work, but only so well, and at certain points you’re making an approximation as you try to fit the object to the curve.

The 01, the first product from a new company called InstruMMents (founded by the creators of the Misfit Shine), claims to allow for easy digital measurements of both linear objects as well as those with irregular surfaces using a laser-based measurement system.

The pen-like 01 comes in three models, with a laser measurement system on one end and either a pencil, pen, or stylus tip on the other (for jotting down measurements quickly). And the videos make using the 01 look simple: just point the laser at one end of the object, and roll the 01 until you’ve reached the other end. A connected smartphone is used to display the measurements.

Of course, professional engineers and CAD designers have tools for things like this, like the FaroArm, which is a coordinate measuring tool that allows you to trace the outline of an object to perfectly measure the exact dimensions by tracking the spatial coordinates of the tool arm. But it’s also a professional grade tool that’s both far more complex than the average person’s needs and far more expensive — usually between $40,000 to $85,000 — than most people’s budgets.

All in all, it’s a cool idea, and one that I can see actually being helpful for making complicated measurements. And the design looks nice, too, with a simple carved aluminum body.

But at $149, the 01 is dramatically more expensive than a tape measure, ruler, or even a good pair of calipers. Also, the 01 isn’t rechargeable, instead relying on a replaceable battery that lasts around 4-6 months. But if you’re interested in adding some lasers to your day-to-day measuring, the 01 will be available for $149 at InstruMMents’ website or Indiegogo starting December 1st.