Surveyors of the United Kingdom, it’s time for virtual reality to make your work easier! Here at Property Typing we’re always keen to help you make the very best of your working day and keep the process from client site to our skilled typists as simple and streamlined as possible. The new Apple measurement tool, brought to you by the iOS app store and available on all newer Apple phones, may well replace traditional building surveyor’s tools in your daily rota- and here’s what you need to know about it to stay ahead of the pack

What is the Apple measurement tool?

The new Apple iOS measuring app, simply called Measure, is now a built-in feature of all phones capable of running (or upgrading to) iOS 12. It’s also intended for roll-out to iOS 11 soon. Using the VR-based augmented reality framework ARKit, it is designed to help you take real-time, real-world measurements of objects through your phone camera. It also includes a built-in spirit level for extra convenience.

How can this iOS app help me?

It’s no secret that virtual reality is the latest, greatest trend on our mobile devices, and iOS apps featuring all sorts of VR technologies are springing up fast. You may not have considered that they’d ever bring out a meaningful building surveyor tool, however, given that it is typically positioned as an entertainment industry gimmick- but it’s time to explore the world of augmented reality and how it can help you work smarter.

While it sounds fancy (and difficult to get to grips with), augmented reality is simply the process of taking what’s really around you and adding virtual reality elements to it. You’re probably most familiar with this type of technology through the iOS app craze that was Pokemon Go. The phone took a real-life positioning of the environment around you and added the fantastical creatures of the Pokemon universe over it. This enabled you to explore the world around you with extra elements of virtual reality, creating a truly unique experience.

How can this VR technology be used as a building surveyor’s tool?

While the Pokemon experience was nothing but a fun game designed to get people a little more active, this same augmented reality technology is rolling out swiftly across a range of very serious business applications. From warehouse management to, yes, building surveyor tools, the same tech is bringing us a truly novel way of making our work simple, faster and more efficient. Hence the Apple measurement app.

We’re betting that you count your various measuring tapes and tools among the very most import part of your building surveyor toolkit at the moment, along with your spirit level. After all, those precise measurements are going to be a critical part of the reports that Property Typing will be helping you format and create. Yet how often have you had to stop your workflow to hunt it down? How many times have your delicate measurements been interrupted by the need to rescue it, untangle it, or manipulate it through cramped and awkward spaces? Then, of course, there’s the need to carefully record your findings separately- needing even more space in your toolbag for notepads and more.

Now, all you need to do is whip out your phone. Through the camera, the phone will use the AR toolkit to size your object and take detailed, precise measurements for you.

How does the Apple measurement tool work?

Upon launching the iOS app, you will perform a quick calibration (which the app walks you through) by moving in a circle. After this, you can simply point it at any square or rectangular object, and it will take the measurements you need. A yellow alignment box helps you make sure everything is precise.

For other measurements, you can define a start point and end point, and the same calculation will occur. Each measurement can be further explored (including unit conversions) through tapping the screen. Results can either be exported directly to an app like Notes or you can snap a picture with the camera, which will take a screenshot with measurements in place. Provided you take care to use the system meticulously, results are exceedingly precise.

The spirit level function is similarly easy to use. You will begin by laying the phone flat on the surface of the object, and then adjust the orientation of your phone just like a traditional level until you reach that perfect 0. Easy, right? It’s plain to see how this simple iOS app could soon become your favourite building surveyor tool.

How do I get the Apple measurement tool?

The Apple measurement tool will automatically install to all phones upgrading to the iOS 12 operating system and will ship pre-loaded on all newer phones. If you don’t see it, or happen to have previously removed it, it can also be easily accessed through the Apple iOS app store for download, too.

The Apple measurement tool, and other augmented reality iOS apps like it, are poised to revolutionise the world of building surveyor’s tools. While Property Typing is here to help you take the weight off of your shoulders and ensure you can work cleanly, smartly and with no stress when it comes to compiling your surveys, your expertise- and hard work- are still needed at the initial site inspection. Imagine being able to streamline your working day further with a few simple button clicks replacing hours of meticulous measurement? Then you can share the captured information instantly with your typist through our unique portal, ensuring there’s no chance of inaccuracies or errors creeping in.

Let the Apple measurement tool take the burden off your back on-site, and Property Typing lift the admin hassles from your shoulders, too. We look forward to helping you put your very best foot forward on-site and in the office today.