One of my favorite devices at CES was Cubit. The product is a sort of next-generation tape measure that does away with a lot of the calculations one does when trying to hang a picture or install shelves.
The Cubit, made by a company called Plott, uses laser-guided measurements and a physical wheel to take the measurement of a physical object like a wall or a table. It then creates a digital map of the physical object or place so the user can manipulate objects digitally. The software can make the calculations needed to hang a frame in the center of a space or rearrange the furniture in a room.
Once those calculations are made, the user takes the Cubit and moves it along the physical object waiting for a beep to indicate that this is the space where the user should drive a nail for a picture frame or position a table leg for furniture.
Plott CEO David Xing says the company takes the physical world, converts it to a digital representation and then converts it back for users. For consumers, the tech is an easy way to upgrade a tape measure and avoid some basic math that comes with many handyman tasks.
The technology behind Cubit comes from Xing’s other company NWI. NWI actually developed the digital-to-virtual conversion tech and software through building products for companies like Stanley’s Black and Decker tools. Other customers for NWI might include a vacuum maker that wants to use the technology to map out a room’s objects to create an optimal course for a robotic vacuum to run.
Robotics should be another area where NWI’s technology will shine.
Much of the R&D is handled by NWI, as are all of the business to business relationships. But as NWI developed its technology, Xing saw a way to build a consumer product that would introduce the tech to a larger audience. Thus, Plott was incorporated to develop the Cubit.
Xing has so far bootstrapped the companies thanks to licensing deals and revenue from building products for other companies. Xing said that the Cubit should be out late in the second quarter (summer) and will retail for about $75.