InstruMMents via Indiegogo
InstruMMents via Indiegogo

High-Tech Pen Doubles as a Laser Measuring Tool

InstruMMents via Indiegogo
InstruMMents via Indiegogo

Technology is useful when you're trying to figure out the distance between Hong Kong and Seattle, but when measuring surfaces at home, the old-fashioned way is generally still the best. As The Verge reports, a tech company called InstruMMents is offering an alternative to rulers and tape measures with a new product called the 01. The multipurpose pen, currently raising funds through Indiegogo, uses a laser beam to take precise measurements of irregular surfaces.

The 01 comes in three aluminum versions: a pen, pencil, and stylus-tipped instrument. Each tool includes a laser pointer at the opposite end for the recording the dimensions of flat planes, complex terrain, and everything in between. To use it, owners simply point the pen at one end of the object they wish to measure and roll it along the length of the edge. The dimensions are then displayed through a companion smartphone app, where users can share them on social media (InstruMMents gives the example of using it as a virtual door-frame measurement for sharing your kids’ height).

This type of technology isn’t new: Engineers, architects, and surveyors already use laser measuring tools for a variety of projects. But professional equipment can get pricey, with some products costing up to tens of thousands of dollars. The 01 isn’t cheap, but at $149, it’s a more affordable option for home use. The project, which is nearly halfway funded, is accepting pledges now through the rest of November.

[h/t The Verge]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
Tom Etherington, Penguin Press
The Covers of Jack Kerouac's Classic Titles Are Getting a Makeover
Tom Etherington, Penguin Press
Tom Etherington, Penguin Press

Readers have been enjoying classic Jack Kerouac books like The Dharma Bums and On the Road for decades, but starting this August the novels will have a new look. Several abstract covers have been unveiled as part of Penguin’s "Great Kerouac" series, according to design website It’s Nice That.

The vibrant covers, designed by Tom Etherington of Penguin Press, feature the works of abstract expressionist painter Franz Kline. The artwork is intended to capture “the experience of reading Kerouac” rather than illustrating a particular scene or character, Etherington told It’s Nice That. Indeed, abstract styles of artwork seem a fitting match for Kerouac’s “spontaneous prose”—a writing style that was influenced by improvisational jazz music.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of The Dharma Bums, which was published just one year after On the Road. The Great Kerouac series will be available for purchase on August 2.

[h/t It's Nice That]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
Apple
Here's a Preview of the 70 New Emojis Coming to Your iPhone
Apple
Apple

Get ready to add a whole new set of symbols to your emoji vocabulary. As CNN reports, Apple has released a sneak peak of some of the 70 new emojis coming to iOS in late 2018.

In February 2018, the Unicode Consortium announced the latest additions to their official emoji database. Software makers have since been working on customizing the designs for their own operating systems, and now iPhone and iPad users are getting a preview of what the new emojis will look like on their devices.

One of the most highly anticipated new symbols is the redhead emoji, something people have been demanding for a while. A curly haired option, another popular request, will be added to the line-up, as will gray-hair and bald emoji choices. Each of the new hair types can be added to the classic face emoji regardless of gender, but when it comes to specific characters like the bride or the jogger emojis, users will be limited to the same hair options they had before.

If Apple users ever want to express their inner superhero, two new super characters, a man and woman, will let them do so. They will also have new "smiley" symbols to choose from, like a party emoji, a sad eyes emoji, and a frozen emoji.

In the food category you have a head of lettuce and a mango, and for dessert, a cupcake and a mooncake—a festive Chinese pastry. New animals include a peacock, a kangaroo, and a lobster. The lobster emoji stirred some controversy in February when Mainers noticed the Unicode version was missing a set of legs. The design was quickly revised, and Apple's version is also anatomically correct.

These images just show a small sample of the emojis that will be included in an iOS update planned for later in 2018. Users will have to wait to see the final designs for other the symbols on the list.

New Apple emojis.
Apple

New Apple emojis.
Apple

New Apple emojis.
Apple

New Apple emojis.
Apple

[h/t CNN]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios