iPin Pro is a mobile accessory to attach to the back of your smartphone and turn it into a laser ruler. In this review, we will go through the details and discuss if you should really spend money on this Kickstarter project.
If you have been in-and-out in the construction site, you will know how troublesome to get to the measurement. Sometimes, we’ll need an accurate measurement to present to clients, but most of the time, a rough estimation is more than enough. The traditional way of measuring length is time-consuming and may require special tools.
Here we have a very cool and convenient idea by using a mobile accessory to get to the reading quickly. The idea is similar to an existing mobile app which uses the smartphone camera to measure the distance, but the accuracy is the main drawback.
So, here is a Taiwan company gets into the game and took it to the next level. Well, it’s actually not that “new”, here is one similar project called Spike way back in 2013.
Sounds promising? Yes, every project on Kickstarter often sounds too-good-to-be-true before we hit it hard with facts. Below we will debug the untold sides of truth so that to give you a clearer picture of what you need to know before buying.
Review and discussion – Should you buy this laser ruler?
Since 5 years ago, the Spike laser project had some accuracy issues, and even for now with so much improvement on the camera resolution, the problem is still on the accuracy part.
That said, I’m pretty sure the first thing that goes through your mind is none other than the accuracy. Certainly, if you would like to compare iPin Pro side-by-side with this laser level, it’s a no-brainer (judging from many positive reviews). However, who wants to carry that bulky tool with you 24/7? And of course, it could be good for measuring close-up but not a distant object.
iPin Pro, on the other hand, is more of an add-on accessory device for casual references and by not mean for professional uses. Although it’s stated that to have an ideally ±3mm, the accuracy is highly dependence on your camera resolutions. So, if your camera somehow produces blurry images (due to many factors, such as flare, lightness, noise and etc), the dimension readings will also be affected. Double as a laser range finder, the creators advises users to use the rangefinder which is more accurate (many rangefinders like this one produces accurate readings too), as to how they put it in a reply:
Apparently, the reply above from the creator wasn’t too convincing by itself and does not give backers enough confidence to trust on this $80 device. Put it in plain English, do not expect an all-time “very accurate” measurement when measuring the dimension.
iPin Pro has a distance limitation of 40 meters (~131 ft).
Overall, is it worth it? Yes and no, while it is still worth a try for the novelty, no one really knows how “inaccurate” until we received the item. Also, the price is not cheap, it will add up to $100 ($16 for shipping as well as taxes for EU countries) which makes this a somewhat unworthy buy. Anyway, you will be the judge, if you think this is cool and would still like to give it a try, below is the link to the project page to grab your early bird deal.