Answer: Augmented reality.
It’s still just a Kickstarter campaign, but if the Arrim One makes it to widespread production, it could be the world’s first “professional” augmented reality measuring device. The word “professional” is most likely a reference to the device’s accuracy — it reportedly has a margin of error of just 1.5 mm (0.06 inches).
To take measurements, the user simply plugs the device into their smartphone, points it at what they want measured, and sets the endpoints on the image. The device uses a laser as well as the phone’s camera to gauge distance and create a 3-D point map of the environment, which is superimposed over the image on the screen. This 3-D map also means that the user can move their phone around and the points and measurements will still be accurately displayed.
The device itself measures just 2 x 1.2 x 0.6 inches, and other than the power button is completely controlled through a smartphone. If the fundraising campaign meets all its targets, the makers hope to start shipping in September of this year.