Have you ever had the need to measure the distance between two places but didn’t have a measuring tape with you? Ever wanted to know how long your garden was? Want to try out some cool AR features? Well, bringing those all together is Measure by Google.
What exactly is Measure?
As the name suggests, Measure is an app used to measure distances and heights. The app itself has been on the Google Play store for a while and you may have already seen it. It should be noted that Measure requires Google ARCore to work. We’ve seen ARCore work for games such as Jurassic World Alive and Pokemon Go as well.
If you’ve recently purchased a smartphone with a Snapdragon 820/636 or later CPU or a midrange to flagship Samsung or Huawei device, then you should have no problem in installing ARCore and Measure. A full list of ARCore compatible devices is available here.
Downloading and using Measure
Once you’re sure that your device is compatible with Google ARCore, you can download Measure by Google from the Play store. Setting up Measure is extremely easy as you literally just have to open the app.
Measure requires no additional permission except for the camera and storage. Again, these are necessary permissions for the app to function properly. Once these permissions were given I was ready to begin. measuring stuff.
Measuring using Measure is actually quite easy to do in theory, but a bit tricky in practice. Theoretically, it would just map the distance between two points and calculate that distance. In reality though, it took a bit of getting used to.
The first tricky part was to get the correct starting point. Because I was using a phone, I had to take into account the size of the phone as well. I was using the path from the my front gate to the front door as an example. I simply placed the first market at the starting point and then held down the second marker as I walked up to the door. Once there, I dropped the marker and let the app calculate the distance. Results are almost instant, and surprisingly, quite accurate.
Ever since ARCore came out and Measure was also released, there have been complaints about the app not calculating accurately or not working at all. It appears that the developers at Google have been working hard to make sure everything was in order. As such, the first round of my test was a success.
On to measuring more things with Measure
Now that I had measured distance, the next test was to measure height. I used a number of test cases such as the height of a door, and the height of my table to the ground. Once again, results were quite accurate. As you can see from the images below, I used a physical measuring tape as well. The results pretty much speak for themselves.
Overall, I was thoroughly impressed with how advanced the mapping of ARCore was and how accurate Measure by Google was as well. There are a few inconsistencies in measuring small distances and elevations, but apart from that, Measure did a pretty impressive job.
How reliable is Measure, really?
Google themselves say that measurements taken by the app are estimates. Having said that, Measure does a pretty impressive and accurate job of measuring distances and elevations. It can get a bit buggy at times. As such, we wouldn’t recommend using it for precise measurements or when an exact measurement is required.
However, if you want to get a brief measurement and you leave room for a bit of leeway, then Measure does the job perfectly. If you’re in the mood to go annoy the nearby construction workers, we bear no responsibility to what happens later, either.
It’s also quite interesting to see how far augmented reality has come. From simply overlaying images of characters over a live display, to actually being able to measure distances and heights, the possibilities are endless. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to go measure the distance from my table to the refrigerator.
Would you use Measure as opposed to a physical tape measure? Love it? Hate it? Leave a comment below.