The history of measurement has come full circle, from body-based units to abstracted quantifiers … and now back again to the basics. From lengths and widths to volumes, this digital tool that mounts to your fingers is designed to let the user measure anything, store that data, calculate results and more.

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Digital tool hand measuring how it works

Wooden sticks gave way to wood-and-metal rulers and measuring tapes, which in turn were replaced over time by higher-technology digital tools for fine-tuned measurements. Still, how often do you find yourself needing precision down to the very last millimeter or hundredth of an inch in daily life, as a designer or otherwise?

Unlike other precursors, this set of miniature measurers works at essentially any scale – put them both on one hand for small distances, two hands for medium ones or trade them between two different people for longer requirements.

Digital tool hand measuring what it looks like

The evolution of measuring technologies started with what we all had in common – feet, legs, arms, hands and whole bodies, from which various cultures derived standardized systems for long-term use. Both in theory and practice, this simple invention takes the entire history of such methods and tools into account.

The best of all worlds, this ‘smart finger’ concept by Choi Hyong-Suk, Jung Ji-hye & Yoo-Jin Park (via YankoDesign) blends the precision of cutting-edge distance and weight calculators and exceeds the convenience of rulers and tape measures in terms of portability and usability.

Digital tool hand measuring device

More from the inventors

“When people try to measure something in the primitive age, they measured it while comparing it with hands or the body. People started to make tools for ;measuring more accurate measurements, achieve uniform weights and measures to reduce and rror of the size, and thus, can get an accurate measurement value with digital measuring instruments at present. However… wouldn’t a measuring tool of the future be the body of people?”

“What would be the most intuitive measuring tool to a person? When people try to explain the size of something, they unconsciously express its size with hands. However, if the person is not trained, the expression is not properly delivered in most cases. So people search for a measuring tool for accurate measurement, but they will surely feel delicate discomfort and annoyance. The SMART FINGER facilitates its measurement at the moment that this unconscious hand movement is performed.”