Incipio launches tape-less tape measure (video)

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LAS VEGAS— I’m currently on the apartment hunt, and it seems like every time I want to go check out a new place, my tape measure is no where to be found. Incipio’s AR Stanley Case for the iPhone 5 could help me out in such situations. The case houses a detachable widget that, when paired with an app, helps you measure any short distance using augmented reality. This new virtual tool debuted at CES this week, and I had a chance to test it out.

Here’s how it works if you’re, say, measuring a room from end to end. Set the widget—a small detachable target that comes with the case—down at one end of the room to mark your target, then walk to the other end of the room to mark your ending distance. Launch the app on your iPhone, and take a photo of the widget. The app uses the iPhone’s camera to measure the distance between the widget target and the iPhone itself. The results are spot on, at least in my preliminary experience with it. When finished, just attach the widget back to the phone case.

The AR app can handle distances of up to 20 feet. While this isn’t the first virtual tape measure app we’ve seen, the widget and case combo provides an interesting method of calibrating the distance. Incipio says this is the first in a series of AR-based utility apps that will help users complete simple household and construction projects. Apps for weight measuring and leveling are in the pipeline.

The AR Stanley Case is set to hit store shelves in February, at a price of $40. While the case is available for the iPhone 5 only, the widget and app are universal across the iOS platform.

For more blogs, stories, photos, and video from the nation's largest consumer electronics show, check out complete coverage of CES 2013 from PCWorld and TechHive.

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