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InstruMMents via Indiegogo

High-Tech Pen Doubles as a Laser Measuring Tool

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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]

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architecture
One Photographer's Quest to Document Every Frank Lloyd Wright Structure in the World
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iStock

From California’s Marin County Civic Center to the Yokodo Guest House in Ashiya City, Japan, Frank Lloyd Wright’s influence spans countries and continents. Today, 532 of the architect’s original designs remain worldwide—and one photographer is racking up the miles in an attempt to photograph each and every one of them, according to Architectural Digest.

Andrew Pielage is the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation’s unofficial photographer. The Phoenix-based shutterbug got his gig after friends introduced him to officials at Taliesin West, the late designer’s onetime winter home and studio that today houses the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and Taliesin, the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture.

Higher-ups at Taliesin West allowed Pielage to photograph the property in 2011, and they liked his work so much that they commissioned him for other projects. Since then, Pielage has shot around 50 Wright buildings, ranging from Fallingwater in Mill Run, Pennsylvania, to the Hollyhock House in Los Angeles.

Pielage takes vertical panoramas to “get more of Wright in one image,” and he also prefers to work with natural light to emphasize the way the architect integrated his structures to correspond with nature’s rhythms. While Pielage still has over 400 more FLW projects to go until he's done capturing the icon’s breadth of work, you can check out some of his initial shots below.

[h/t Architectural Digest]

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Courtesy Chronicle Books
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Design
Inside This Pop-Up Book Are a Planetarium, a Speaker, a Decoder Ring, and More
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Courtesy Chronicle Books

Designer Kelli Anderson's new book is for more than just reading. This Book Is a Planetarium is really a collection of paper gadgets. With each thick, card stock page you turn, another surprise pops out.

"This book concisely explains—and actively demonstrates with six functional pop-up paper contraptions—the science at play in our everyday world," the book's back cover explains. It turns out, there's a whole lot you can do with a few pieces of paper and a little bit of imagination.

A book is open to reveal a spiralgraph inside.
Courtesy Chronicle Books

There's the eponymous planetarium, a paper dome that you can use with your cell phone's flashlight to project constellations onto the ceiling. There's a conical speaker, which you can use to amplify a smaller music player. There's a spiralgraph you can use to make geometric designs. There's a basic cipher you can use to encode and decode secret messages, and on its reverse side, a calendar. There's a stringed musical instrument you can play on. All are miniature, functional machines that can expand your perceptions of what a simple piece of paper can become.

The cover of This Book Is a Planetarium
Courtesy Chronicle Books

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