Tape Measure App

Discussion in 'Android Applications' started by Acid7711, Nov 27, 2009.

  1. Acid7711
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    Acid7711 New Member

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    It occurred to me, that it probably wouldn't be hard to make some sort of a tape measure application.

    Maybe you'd have a start point on the screen, push and hold a button, when it reaches the same point letting go or pushing the button again, then it calculates, inches, feet, etc.



    Maybe something like this already exists, maybe it's a stupid idea, but the calculations and tools that this phone has hardware wise would allow it to do something like this. I've been 100 level apps.....never seen a tape measure app.

    Just a thought.



    I'm a developer by nature, but web based projects mostly. This ones far above my head, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. I'm not asking for someone to make this either, just wondering if someone knows of something like it, or perhaps someone is bored. *shrugs*
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2009
  2. Backnblack
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    Backnblack Premium Member Premium Member

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    And what would be taking the measurement?
  3. ice456789
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    ice456789 New Member

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    Can you get the accuracy needed? Would it work through the GPS?
  4. Sleeve
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    Sleeve New Member

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    Interesting thought. Does the accelerometer provide enough force data to know precisely how fast you're moving between the two points? The math would cause me a headache, because you've got to negate erratic up and down hand motions through open air when the user walks from the begin to end point.

    Google Sky Map and GPS Status show that it can certainly immediately sense any motion. GPS Status shows an acceleration statistic, and to me, that value seems waaaaay too immediate and precise to be solely satellite based but I'm no GPS expert. I know that most Garmins have accelerometers in them to approximate distance traveled while you're in a tunnel, and if you're stuck in traffic vs. moving at 60 the accelerometer in a Garmin appropriately shows both situations.

    Ditto to ice's comment. I think the accuracy's going to be give or take a foot at best.
  5. Acid7711
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    Acid7711 New Member

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    The Accelerometer would be taking the measurement, plus the combination of GPS. The phone has the hardware capability wise. There's no doubt about this. The compass and the gps both show simple tiny movements based on fractions of millimeters of movement. The capability is there.


    Like I said, maybe it was a stupid idea........but it was still one that I've not seen any thought or reason put into. Can't bash someone for thinking for a logical, useful program. Most of the things measured would be liess than a couple feet. Like today, I needed to measure 8". I had to go down stairs to get a damn tape measure to measure 8".


    It can't be that unreasonable to make something that "within reason" would be able to be somewhat accurate.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2009
  6. tah
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    tah New Member

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    This app would be more useful for women. They've been told for years that 5" is 8":)
  7. Sex Cells
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    Sex Cells New Member

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    i would imagine you could develop a program for measuring accurately, using the camera.

    for example, you the program could use an object like a penny or quarter to determine scale. so you set, say: a remote control down, with a penny next to it.

    the program (camera) sees the remote control, then the penny, so it can determine the scale and simply uses a ratio to determine how long the remote control is.

    viola.

    edit: patent pending!
  8. Sex Cells
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    Sex Cells New Member

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    delete me.
  9. Acid7711
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    Acid7711 New Member

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    There's 100 different ways that we could use this to accurately measure distance. This phone has so many damn sensors in it and is so advanced, there's got to be a way.


    The camera idea is ingenious. If you were to get this to work, theoretically, you could measure huge distances as long as everything were to scale properly just with a click of the camera button. The problem here-in lies determining which parts to measure based solely off a picture. It would require additional software to manipulate the picture placing markers.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2009
  10. buee
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    buee New Member

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    GPS vs. Camera vs. Accel

    GPS is not intended to be accurate to inches or even feet. Usually it's accuracy is measured in meters and wouldn't be practical unless you're under an open sky and measuring miles that can go +/- a few meters.

    The camera wouldn't be practical because, again, you're not going to be accurate enough to do a good reading. One way or another it would need depth perception, but then you run in to problems with peoples' heights and how high off the ground they're holding the phone. Too many variables to account for.

    I thought about infrared and how those infrared tape measures work but then I realized that this is the first phone I've owned since the Nokia 1 that doesn't have infrared. Weird.

    Anyway, I would have to vote for the accelerometer to be the most accurate for this application. In theory, if you want to take in to consideration how fast people walk and the movement of the phone up and down, you can compensate with the exact device you're measuring with. Simply set a few rules for percentage of movement and bingo bango, the App tells you to slow down or stop drinking Red Bull and calm your jumpy ... down. Set a sweet spot of movement and train it based on human movement. The accelerometer and the camera will be the only options you can train based on human movement really. With the accelerometer though, it's based on the movement of a device that's a couple decades old, rather than a couple centuries, it's designed to be sensitive. If you have any games that mainly use the accelerometer, you see how sensitive this thing can be. It's gotta be the best option. I'm not saying it would be easy to code, I'm just saying if I were to code it, the accelerometer would be my weapon of choice, hands down.
  11. GBH2
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    GBH2 New Member

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    The Camera idea is great, but getting far more complex than necessary to achieve distance measurement. You would need something like Intel's OpenCV to do the image recognition on the object and then you still need to know the distance to the object and also distance would be limited to the finite distance of the auto-focus.

    I was thinking about this when I read the OP the other day. I think using the camera is a definite possibility. However, I would see if you can grab the distance measurement from the auto-focus mechanism of the camera. Not sure how it determines distance or how accurate it is. You would basically have a laser measurer.
  12. Acid7711
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    Acid7711 New Member

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    Exactly, GPS is really good down to, what.....about 20-15 meters? This pretty much puts it out of the picture. Agreed with the Camera note, too much room for error. Shadows, unclear pictures and depth perception all play into this.



    The accelerometers in these devices are exceptionally sensitive, and would be able to program for the movement/speed variances that people would have based on the readings that these would bring back.


    Obviously, this would be a small scale application. Something within arms reach, or something feasibly small. I'm not talking about measuring around the entire wall of a room or some crazy design.


    I mean, come on, who when measuring goes around zig-zagging like a drunken clown with a lasso???
  13. Mojo
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    Mojo New Member

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    This is a awesome idea! I hope you guys figure a way to do this...as your are much smarter than I. But if you or someone makes this work I will be the first to buy!
  14. toneyl
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    toneyl New Member

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    There are free apps in the Market called GPSMeasure and Ruler. I've installed but haven't tried them yet.
  15. Backnblack
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    Backnblack Premium Member Premium Member

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    With a Trimble ProXH Receiver you can get 30cm +\-....But it's designed for rough surveying...
  16. Acid7711
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    Acid7711 New Member

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    Not something that our phone has :D And if you were to measure something in cm, it still wouldn't be an accurate way of measuring something.
  17. Backnblack
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    Backnblack Premium Member Premium Member

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    So measuring in Metric is less accurate than Imperial?
  18. GBH2
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    GBH2 New Member

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    GPSMeasure is only accurate to within 3 meters ... useless as a tape measure

    Ruler just shows a ruler on the screen, it would be easier to just put carve notches on the edge of the phone. :)
  19. brianr0131
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    brianr0131 New Member

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    Jujst go buy a 3 dollar tape measure because this phone has nowhere near the accuracy to do this. You'd be much more accurate just guessing.
  20. Backnblack
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    Backnblack Premium Member Premium Member

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    Come with me in the field, I have GPS Survey equipment that will prove you wrong.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2009
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