By Evan Ackerman
At first, it doesn’t seem like adding a digital display to something as quintessentially analog as a ruler is a good idea at all. But, designer Shay Shafranek has managed to add a whole bunch of relevant features not generally available on the old fashioned, wooden variety. The ruler has a conductive sensor along the edge that reads the location of a pencil tip, which means (for example) that you don’t have to measure from the end of the ruler… Wherever you start drawing from becomes zero. And once you have that zero point, you can simply touch other points along the ruler, and it will display distances. You can also do other neat stuff, like measuring continuously by moving the ruler as you draw.
You can’t get one of these yet, but maybe it’s the first glimpse of the next major step in the evolution of school supplies… As the calculator was to the slide rule, so is the digital ruler to the analog ruler. And I bet it’s just as effective and knuckle rapping, too.