RoomRuler! is an app with a nifty concept that could come in handy when decorating a room. Basically, the app is designed to let users take photos and then it applies a built-in algorithm to calculate the approximate dimensions of a room. You can measure length and height as well as distances between two points. There is an admitted margin of error, in most cases supposedly 2-4%, but it depends largely on how you calibrate and set up the app initially.
The information required for RoomRuler! to work accurately is basically the height of the user and the distance between the user and their phone when holding it out straight in front at mouth level. There is a calibration dance as well, involving placing your device on flat and vertical surfaces sideways, backwards and upside down, but it only takes a few minutes. As for actual accuracy, it can work, but it doesn’t always.
While the concept is useful for certain, it takes some familiarizing before RoomRuler! can be considered moderately practical. It has a sort of “idiot proof” feature built in to the camera, allowing the camera to activate only when the phone is held at the predetermined angle and distance from the body. A few of the sample measurements I tried were actually accurate within two to three inches, but a couple more measurements were off by more than 12 inches. User error? Possibly.
Every picture taken is saved and can be edited to add measurements at any time. The only problem is they are displayed in centimeters, not inches. In the US, decorative items like blinds, window coverings, curtains and furniture typically have package displays with inches. Sure, you can convert them, as long as you memorize 1 inch = 2.54 cm.
The most useful feature of RoomRuler! is the note feature on the edit menu of each picture. You can add notes regarding measurements you took yourself. This can be handy as heck if you’re redoing a room and need window measurements, wall space, or floor space recorded for purchasing items. You have the measurements handy as well as a visual of the room.
While not entirely fail proof, RoomRuler! is indeed a semi-nifty app for DIYers and weekend warriors. It is currently available on sale for $1.99, which isn’t bad considering you can record pictures with notes of all the rooms in your home. In a pinch, if you forgot to measure something before heading to the home improvement warehouse, you can always use the app to “guesstimate.” RoomRuler! isn’t for professionals and shouldn’t be relied on for accuracy, but it’s fun to play with and has some useful aspects.