Kiwi company ikeGPS has launched a Kickstarter campaign for a new device aimed at industries whose bread and butter is measuring and modelling - and for developers of augmented reality and location-based apps who want to let their imaginations run wild.
Spike (Smart Phone ike) attaches to a cellphone for measuring objects up to 183 metres away, by taking a snapshot on the phone's camera.
It combines tech native to the phone - the camera and GPS - with miniature versions of the laser range finder and 3D compass modules ikeGPS developed for its original platform, and Bluetooth connection to communicate with the phone.
The company says the real smarts are in the image processing software and the way it aligns with the laser beam to extract dimension and range information.
The company says developers can use its API to create immersive augmented reality applications with long range accuracy and depth perception. Developers can embed its tools into their application or build apps over the data stream generated by the laser camera.
ikeGPS says the end to end technology is unique, with customers saying the alternatives for measuring are tape or red dot lasers.
Industries that might use Spike include builders, architects, interior designers, insurers and valuers.
The company is using Kickstarter not just to target $100,000 funding, but to attract potential partners and developers. "When you're developing any hardware and software which is fundamentally completely new it's incredibly capital intensive. It's a massive commitment of resource both in person power and cash," says CEO Glenn Milnes.
"[Spike is] so disruptive it deserves exposure in the early adopter market and Kickstarter really gives us that exposure. One of the really positive things about Kickstarter is the opportunity to get into an ecosystem that could lead to the development of some really amazing applications."
The company might partner to develop specific offerings for industries as a result of being on Kickstarter, it says.