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Apple Patent Reveals An iPhone That Measures Rooms Using Laser

Apple Patent Reveals An iPhone That Measures Rooms Using Laser

A new Apple patent has revealed new software that easily maps room using a lasers mounted behind existing openings like the camera or have its own dedicated opening in the side of the phone that would then be pointed at walls or objects.

Questions have already been raised as to whether Apple will be granted the permit as several German Companies such as Leica have a range of handheld devices that calculate a rooms dimensions using a laser beam.

The proposed Apple laser would be mounted inside the iPhone and used together with the inbuilt motion sensors to generate a map of any surface it is pointed at.

An iPhone-mounted sensor would detect any light bounced back to the device and provide information about the surfaces of objects around it.

This would allow the iPhone to be used to measure distance and create 3D maps of rooms and even buildings – something that currently requires bulky equipment.


According to Apple’s patent, the laser mapping may work in the following way:

1. User will start laser mapping application
2. They then choose a measurement mode – either surface mapping, volume mapping, planar surface mapping or curved surface mapping
3. GPS, Wife, cellular data and motion detector establish coordinates of iPhone position. 
4. Laser is turned on and gathers data as it is moved across the surface.
5. User can input additional data using the laser as required until a map can be generated
6. App generates image of map created on display. This can be stored or transmitted to other devices. 


The data captured by the iPhone could in the future be connected to 3D printers so users can replicate their favourite objects or important components. Apple claims the laser technology could be incorporated into other handheld devices such as iPads, laptops and even wearable technology like its new Apple Watch.

Writing in the patent, Apple said: ‘Conventional laser measuring devices measure only the distance from the device to a given surface.

‘These devices are unable to measure distances between multiple points that are separate from the device and therefore require the user to place the device is specific locations for which measurements are desired.

‘This can be difficult in, for example, a furnished room with items that restrict access to all parts of the room.

‘Additionally, these devices can be bulky pieces of equipment that require batteries or battery packs and must be purchased and transported separately from other equipment and electronic devices.

‘It would therefore be desirable to be able to provide improved electronic devices with mapping circuitry.’
Apple proposes housing the laser and sensor inside an iPhone, giving it a dedicated opening in the case to allow the laser beam to be emitted and received.

However, it says the laser system could also be mounted behind the camera, the display or even inside the port for headphone jacks.

The laser system works by measuring the time it takes for the light to be reflected back to the sensor mounted in the iPhone, allowing it to measure the distance from an object.

‘It would therefore be desirable to be able to provide improved electronic devices with mapping circuitry.’

Apple proposes housing the laser and sensor inside an iPhone, giving it a dedicated opening in the case to allow the laser beam to be emitted and received.
However, it says the laser system could also be mounted behind the camera, the display or even inside the port for headphone jacks.