How to measure object distance with your smartphone camera

Our phone offers a huge amount of features, but sometimes the simplest ones are overlooked. One of its most useful and simple uses is to measure distances with the camera or screen.

Just pick up the phone, point the camera at the object you want to measure and the app will tell you the centimeters or meters of its size and its distance from us.

Below you will find different methods for measuring objects with mobile phones, from the most modern using augmented reality, to the simplest that works on any type of smartphone.

Aruler: measures objects with augmented reality

We tried to measure objects with one of the most powerful applications. This is ARuler, an application that through augmented reality allows us to measure distances, angles, areas and volumes of any object that we are focusing on with the camera.

The only requirement is to leave the object on the table or on a surface and, using the mobile phone, we will mark the points. The result is quite accurate.

To use it you will need a cell phone compatible with augmented reality. At the moment it is limited to Google Pixel, Galaxy S9, S8, S7, OnePlus 5 or Huawei P20 and the latest iPhone, but in the coming months will reach more models. ARruler is completely free and represents the future of the instruments to be measured with a mobile phone.

[appbox googleplay com.grymala.aruler]
[appbox appstore id1252413024]

App to measure small objects

As small as the mobile screen. There are applications that show a rule in real size on the cell phone screen. To measure, simply place the object on the screen and observe the graduation.

There are multiple apps of this type in the Google Play Store and in the app store. One of these, highly recommended, is the Ruler application.

The measurement obtained with this application, and with other similar ones, will have the same accuracy as when measured with a normal physical rule.

[appbox googleplay]

[appbox appstore id1020133524]

App to measure distance and heights

It may happen that the measure we need requires a more powerful tool than a ruler. For example, if we want to measure the height of a street lamp, the ruler may be too small and we need something more.

The rangefinder is the application we need in these cases. It is an application that uses the camera to know the distance to which an object is located and its height, using basic trigonometry.

We take a picture, we aim at the base of the object we want to measure and we press the measure button, we just have to concentrate on the highest part of the object and that’s it, its height and distance will be calculated.

The important point is to aim with the camera on the GROUND and NOT on the object. (eg if you want to measure distance from someone, you have to aim at his shoes.)

On this occasion, Telemeter is a free application, even if it includes advertising. In our tests we have verified that in medium-distance exteriors it works well, but that in the interiors at short distance it is not very precise, something to be taken into consideration. For iPhone there is a very similar app: AirMeasure – AR Tape & Ruler

[appbox googleplay kr.sira.measure]
[appbox appstore id1251282152]

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