What do you get when you add a dash of 21st-century technology to home improvement tools? Much more accurate measurements and the potential for better results, even if you’re not an experienced handy person or carpenter. Plott’s new range of tools for DIY projects and professional construction work uses augmented reality to banish all the little inaccuracies that arise during the building process, like parts that don’t line up correctly. Plus, they look like a lot of fun to use.
Based in New Jersey, Plott is a collective of engineers, designers, creatives, inventors, military veterans, ”weekend warriors,” and DIYers dedicated to producing smart technology that blends the real world with digital tools. Whether you’re designing custom shelving for your kitchen or just trying to hang some photos on the wall, Plott’s “Cubit” and “Carta” tools are guaranteed to save you time you might otherwise spend double-checking your measurements and doing math, allowing you to really focus on the finished product.
After polling a number of seasoned DIYers, Plott determined that many of them felt like the calculations required to pull off high-quality projects were simply too complex, and that what they ended up with rarely matched the ideas they had in their heads before getting started. The company’s star product, the Cubit, aims to change that by using augmented reality to virtually measure any space using lasers and a smart wheel — no guesstimating required. The accompanying Cubit app then allows you to design virtually using real-world scale and context, so you can see exactly what your project will look like when you’re done. You can also share your completed projects on the app and browse other people’s projects for inspiration.
The company calls the Cubit “a GPS for your creativity,” adding that it’s “the first tool to use AR to bring your dimensional data to your smart device and bring it back into the real world after you have manipulated it. This means that after you measure your space and arrange it to your liking in the app using Mixed Reality, Cubit will then guide you with turn-by-turn directions to make your design a reality, bringing your project to life.”
Then there’s the Carta, which allows you to map out an area by walking a smart wheel on a stick along the ground, which could really come in handy if you’re building a garden path, shed, or some other outdoor project. Just take a picture of your planned workspace and walk around the area to create an interactive digital map, adding notes and pictures as you go. It’ll also calculate distances between two points for areas you can’t traverse, like thorny brush or slopes.
“Carta enables you to create a canvas where visual references gets pooled together with dimensional data. By bringing together pictures, notes, maps, links etc., and putting it all in dimensional context. It enables you to see how your plan will look, as well as how it will fit. Once you’re done with design, Carta will help you bring that design to [fruition].”
All in all, Plott’s tools offer a cool way for the math-avoidant to pull off all sorts of DIY ideas with aplomb, and they’re an interesting example of how augmented reality can help tremendously in the process of designing and creating.