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Smart String winds up the tape-measuring process


August 17, 2011

Pocket Smart String uses a flexible string instead of a semi-rigid tape for measuring items

Pocket Smart String uses a flexible string instead of a semi-rigid tape for measuring items

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Although it would be wrong to say that tape measures are difficult to use, they can sometimes certainly be a bit fiddly - a couple of examples include the measuring of objects that aren't straight-edged, or having to squint to count off the exact millimeters on the tape. Pocket Smart String, however, goes about measuring in a different way. Users pull a string out from the pocket calculator-sized device, laying it alongside or winding it around whatever they want to measure. The exact length is digitally displayed on the device's LCD screen, and can then be stored in its memory for calculating things such as area or volume.

The 50-inch (127-cm) -long string itself is reportedly non-stretchable, and has a 20-pound (9-kg) breaking strength. A 12-foot (3.66-meter) heavy-duty model is in the works.

The keypad includes three memory buttons, allowing users to save height, length and width measurements. They can then use the device's standard calculator function to figure out square or cubic footage, using those stored values.

Measurements can be made in imperial or metric.

A bubble level is also built into the device, as is an LED light ... why a light? Well, because every gizmo seems to have one these days.

Although tape measures with digital readouts are by no means new, Smart String's highly-flexible, windable string is an interesting innovation. A conventional rigid measuring tape, however, has the ability to stand up on its own, which allows single users to easily measure things such as doors or windows.

You can decide for yourself which quality is more important.

Pocket Smart String is available from various retailers. It's presently selling at ThinkGeek for US$11.99.

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

Great idea.........wonder why it\'s not been done before?


Cool. At long last a practical item you can get right away...not pie-in-the sky maybe-maybe not gizmo here on gizmag.

It does not seem to do metric though. If it does only inch (which I am afraid is the case) you have the inadequacy of American inch/fractions system fully demonstrated. Just tell me how you mark 3/8 or 5/16 in three decimal places, brother.

(If you go for decimals...what is easier than metric!)


ooops...I looked up their keyboard up closer. There is a a switch button between in and mm. (I was just puzzled - they did not put it in their ads but the capability is there)

I am getting one straight ahead.


This is cool but I don\'t like the package. Probably wanted it to be slim and so have the extra space out past the button array where the retracting reel is housed. I wonder how acurate it is, and I also wonder if they have a way to get inside dimensions, ie add the width of the unit.

Paul Anthony

It still measures in inches? Not very smart then...


@ Valis I thought the US still used Imperial, quite a market to miss out on by just sticking to metric! In England there happen to be be many items still extant that were manufactured before metrication, making it useful to have immediate reference. Ian Colley.

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