Everything's going digital, why not the old wooden ruler? That's what
industrial designer Shay Shafranek was thinking when he created the Electronic
Ruler, but he also thought of ways to make calculations simple, exact
and fun to use for everyone from school kids to professional architects.
Here are the inner workings of the Electronic Ruler. Notice the sensors on the lower edge of the ruler. Observing that most people work with pens or pencils when using a
ruler, Shafranek decided to employ those tools as conducers in
obtaining digital values from the ruler. So placing your pen/pencil on
a sensor will produce an LED readout of the measurement you selected.
Wood was selected by Shafranek as the ruler cover to link the design concept to the function of the old wooden ruler and to make the design look more friendly.
The button on the right of the ruler turns on the ruler and resets it at zero.
Now, here's where the Electronic Ruler gets smarter....
Let's say the ruler is 12.5 inches long. If you place your pencil tip at the last sensor on the ruler, you will see that. But if you want to measure something longer, you can move the ruler ahead and mark and press another sensor, let's say 1.8 inches more.... The Electronic Ruler will add the 1.8 inches to the previous 12.5 inches for you! Thus, rather than using a contractor's ruler of say 5 to 10 feet in length, you can use your 12 inch ruler to measure as many feet as you like, because it is a measuring tool and a calculator!
Another neat feature of the Electronic Ruler is its ability to calculate distances from one point to another without having to move your ruler at all. This means you don't have to put the left edge of the ruler on top or along side of the item you want to measure; you can start anywhere on the ruler. (Great for small work spaces.)
For example, let's say your ruler is placed on top of an object at the 3 inch mark and you touch the 3 inch sensor with your pen/pencil tip to establish the beginning of the measurement. Then touch the sensor where the end of the object is, let's say at 7 inches, and the digital readout will tell you that your object is 4 inches long. You can also measure from right to left and get the correct length. See the features demonstrated on the flash player at Shay Shafranek's webpage, where you can click on 'drawing,' 'measuring,' and 'additional functions.
Shafranek, a graduate of the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design as well as the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Israel, created the Electronic Ruler while he was an exchange student at the Design Reaktor project in Berlin. There he was able to collaborate with Britze Electronik in designing his own CPU as well as to register his concept as a patent.
I hope Shefranek is awarded his patent. The Electronic Ruler is an ingenious invention!
Shay Shafranek via FreshHome