This is a thought experiment. Ideas are supposed to be cheap right? so I’m putting them out there, unformed and mushy. I don’t spend a lot of time thinking out things like revenue model… its a brain fart.

This was something I’m thinking of as an ARkit project. Ar is very good at showing the unseen. In this case showing the likely position of wall studs found in typical suburban housing stock

How would you use it?

  • we draw a cursor or target box on the phone screen. you align it to an electrical outlet on the wall, app takes a picture
  • from the same position, find a take a picture of a second outlet on the wall
  • we draw the likely position of studs based on common stud spacing in north american construction, using the neat fact that electrical outlets are of known size, and always anchor to a stud on either the left or right. The more outlets, the easier this should be.

Technical challenges

Recognizing and ‘sizing’ the electrical outlets. There are at this point some machine learning algorithms for classifying images. measuring is something else I would have to research. Presumably distance between the outlets using the same mechanisms as in the ARkit measuring demos.

Drawing the 1.5″ x 9′ rectangles and superimposing them on the wall (or positioning them on the floor plane by the wall is theoretically doable, but would require research on how to detect the end of the ground plane. The new ARKit updates do support vertical surfaces however, so there is that.


Related Idea: Picture hanging

  1. Step by Step guidance. First we measure the picture by aiming the camera and ‘target’ to trace two sides of the picture
  2. The app gets a measurement of h + W (measuring apps were an early ARKit thing.
  3. NOw point it at a wall, we project a position on the wall, with a hanging point.
  4. drag to move the picture to the position you want it, then tap
  5. we remember the height for the next pic, and lock the pic position.
  6. move the phone to the wall, grab a pencil and mark the spot.
  7. hang the picture.
  8. for the next picture, the phone remembers the height and last position on the wall, automatically placing the next one to the left or right.