A rolling, connected tape measure

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If you’re designing a piece of hardware to help design hardware, it certainly helps to have a few prominent projects under your belt. The team behind InstruMMents is responsible for a few, including, perhaps most notably, the Misfit Shine, the modular activity tracker that seemingly came out of nowhere and eventually got snapped up by Fossil.

As with the Shine before it, the 01 isn’t the easiest product to explain. It’s a sort of wireless measuring tape that rolls and also it’s a writing instrument. And honestly, the accompanying product video doesn’t go all that far toward clear things up – mostly talking about how measurement is important, before showing the device in action for a total of eight seconds.

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Similarly, here’s the company’s founder and CEO Mladen Barbaric on how things on that front haven’t changed for a while. “There is a dire need to rethink how we capture and use dimensions. Measuring tape, for example, hasn’t really changed since its creation in 1860.”

Fair. But what, precisely does the InstruMMents (get it?) 01 bring to the table? The system features multi-sensor technology to capture accurate three-dimensional measurements as it rolls over flat or uneven surfaces, transmitting the metrics to a connected mobile devices.

The 01 runs for about six months on a battery and, as mentioned above, also doubles as a writing device/stylus. It’s available for pre-order now through the company’s site, priced at $149. It’ll hit retail December 1.