Geo Week News

September 17, 2015

Measure with Your Fingers

MH-1 Demo Screenshot


If you’ve ever used your fingers to try to estimate a distance, or your thumb to estimate the volume of a stockpile, this concept LiDAR product might be for you.

According to student designer Dominik Merle’s (sparse) Vimeo description, the MH1 is an interaction design project from students at the University of Design in Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany. It works like this: you put the device on your hand, and then focus on an object in the distance by putting it between your fingertips (like you’re playing a game and pretending to crush the object).

The device uses a LiDAR sensor to measure the distance of the object from your hands, and then an infrared and ultrasonic sensor to gather information on the distance between your fingers and the distance of your hands from your eyes. After that, it’s pure high-school math to figure out the other measurements in the triangle.

Voila—it tells you the size of the object “focused” between your fingertips.

In the future, Merle explains, they see it becoming a wearable that could be used by construction engineers to check the height and length of walls or windows.

Of course, the measurements may not be precise enough for all circumstances, but this stands as a great example of what LiDAR can do once it becomes affordable enough for design and creative types to get their hands on it and start playing.

If I’m not mistaken, the LiDAR unit used on the M-1 is the LiDAR-Lite from PulsedLight. For more information on this sub-$100 LiDAR sensor and what other crazy things people are already making with it, be sure check out my feature from a few months ago. 

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