Augmented reality isn’t always totally pointless. Sorry if you think it’s hugely useful to see an augmented view of tweets around you just by holding up your phone, but I like to find slightly more advanced applications using the technology. Architects and designers everywhere know the amount of time it takes to get accurate floor plan measurements with a measuring tape, a pencil, and some graph paper, but now there’s an app that gives you the convenience of measuring right in the palm of your hand in a matter of minutes. One such app, MagicPlan, fits that description.
A French-Canadian development company, Sensopia, has released an app that takes the work out of creating floor plans. MagicPlan works with the iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch. To build a floor plan, you go into each room and take a picture of each corner of the room. By doing that, MagicPlan measures the walls and doors in the room, and it creates a floor plan of each room. You then slide the rooms into their proper location by dragging them on the screen, and MagicPlan aligns the rooms and manages the thickness of the walls. Finally, furniture and photos can be added to show what the actual house or apartment looks like, and geotagging information is attached.
From the two-year old start up Sensopia, the MagicPlan iOS app has rolled out version 2.0 of its floor plan capturing application, which allows you to hold up your phone then scan the dimensions of the room to create an instant floor plan.
The app is free for download, and the free version provides you with a watermarked non-commercial use JPEG, PDF or a version that is uploaded to a website for viewing. For $4.99, the watermark is removed and the floor plan is available for commercial use. For $9.99, Sensopia allows six months of web hosting. The latter is useful for real estate agents who want to show off floor plans and photographs to potential home buyers.
The app can be found here for download.