Apps How To

Measure Distance and Elevation from your Phone’s Camera

In early 2018, Google started to focus on long-forgotten augmented reality. I remember using an AR app on my Symbian Nokia phone some 8 years ago. Within 5 months of ARCore’s initial release, Google released an app to measure everyday objects. I tried the app and was astonished to see the nearly-accurate results in my office.

The app – Measure (by Google) is available on Google Play Store for free. It shows the results in both imperial and metric units. You’ll definitely need a well-lit area to make it work properly.

I tested the app in two rooms, one was a bit dark with natural light from the window and another fully lit. It worked great in the fully-lit room but showed inaccurate results in a little darker room. Can’t blame the app for it. You obviously need proper light for the app to function correctly.

As you can see in the screenshot above, it detects the surfaces by its heights. Bigger the dots, higher the elevation. Also, I was a bit surprised to see the nearly accurate elevation results. The app’s got a tolerance of ~1 inch which is really tolerable.

A few years back, I had an app called Smart Tools (paid app) which had distance and elevation calculator. The app required phone’s height in the foreground as it used the angle formula to calculate the distance between two points. It never returned true results, I never trusted that tool. But after seeing the Google Measure app in action, I can feel confident to measure even the Taj Mahal’s height from my phone (sans measuring tape).

Get it on Google Play

Though the app has got a low rating of 3.2 out of 5, It can be analyzed from the top reviews that people are finding inaccurate results. Some reviewers also updated their review and claimed the app to have improved over time in the accuracy of the calculation.

The app doesn’t require a great camera, a mid-level phone with a decent camera should just work fine. Do not try this app on $100 phones. Tested and tried on Oneplus 3T.

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