Digital Ruler

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At the first sight of this ruler concept by designers Shay.Shafranek the thought of  “this must be one of those ‘mesh-up-digital-and-physical-objects-experiment-again” sprang into my mind, almost in a knee-jerk reaction. But upon further consideration, it does have quite a lot of merit (if a little indulgent) in this combination.

This is a work done in conjunction with a PCB-manufacturing company. The most interesting bit, in my opinion, is the idea that with this digital-sensing modules lined up along the sides, you don’t have to line-up a “zero” point. You can start to pick and draw from anywhere, and the reading is automatically calculated from where your pencil first contacts the paper.

More advanced use of the idea also includes: adding distances (you can keep drawing and the ruler adds up the sum of the lengths); having units in different dimensions automatically (e.g. mm, inches);

Intuitive, simple, elegant solution that still retains the familiar a nalog ruler – you can be as advanced as you want with this ruler.

Great concept!

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3 comments so far

  1. Linyou on

    Hmmm if they are looking for measurement, an Electronic Digital Vernier Caliper is what they will want, and it’s more precise! If they are thinking of drawing a line of certain length, i’m sure it’ll be a nightmare to use as you cannot know when to stop without any markings available.

    • Anonymous on

      @Linyou, I think you’re supposed to read the display! Can’t you open a digital caliper to a set dimension? does a digital calpiper also have a vernier scale so you know when to stop? How do you determine precision? By resolution! Why whould you require to draw a line to less than one decimal place? A digital caliper may be more repeatale, but why would you need repeatablity on a ruler to less than one decimal place? Does a conventional ruler offer this level of precision and repeatability? NO! do you draw with a digital capliper? NO! Do you knock nails in with a screwdriver or dig a hole with a teaspoon? Right tool for the job

  2. Linyou on

    Yeah you are right. But i won’t use a nuclear bomb just to dig a hole as well. Anyway so why do you need a ruler with a digital display that’s gonna cost way more than a normal one? Especially when it’s function is similar (in terms of measurement’s precision to 1 decimal place) but harder to use (when drawing lines). So what’s the focus? Measurement or drawing lines?

    A digital caliper is for measurement, i didn’t say it’s for drawing lines and yes some of them do come with a scale so when the battery is dead, it is still usable. However you do not need to refer to the scale because of the way it is designed to be used. It makes sense then to use a digital display as it is hard to read measurement to a few decimal points.

    Concerning drawing lines, if you look at how this digital ruler is gonna work, there probably is a need for contact between the writing instrument and digital-sensing modules. This definitely means uneven surface for the ruler to ensure good contact, and thus you can forget about drawing a simple straight line. 2ndly Just imagine trying to draw a 10.6cm line. Because of the lack of marking, you will start to hesitate once the digital screen gets to around 10cm, as you do not know how much more is 0.6mm. Again you do not get a perfectly straight line because of that.

    Anyway there are a couple of electronic rulers around and they all measures to a couple of decimal points. They cost a bomb as well. But it is justifiable by people who use them because of the precision they need. Sadly this digital ruler may cost slightly cheaper but offers none of the precisions. Worst still there’s a high possibility that a formerly simple task of drawing lines will not be that simple anymore.

    I’m sorry i’m not trying to undermine the effort of the person who designed this (esp if you are the designer). I just can’t understand why is there a need to complicate something so simple.


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