We were approached by a start up company who wanted to develop a new tape measure specifically designed for the window fitting and window dressing market. Normal tape measures are great for general measurement but hard to use and almost impossible to read accurately for inside measurements.
Typically, a tape measure is extended further than required and the user pushes the tape blade into a corner and then estimates the actual dimension. Alternately, if you're brave enough then extend the blade and tape body to fit the opening, estimate the measurement to the mouth of the tape and then add on the strange body dimension (written on the side of the tape) to find the inside dimension.
Can you design a product that resolves these issues they asked?
Cube3 started the project with a review of high-quality tape measures and worked closely with our client to identify a specification concluding that It must:
- Be easy to use and accurate for inside measurements
- Be easy to use in all other situations
- Be clear and unambiguous to read
- Have at least 2m blade stand out.
- Be readable through a viewing window
- Have a strong positive brake
- Be high quality and robust
We conceptualised a mechanism and prototyped a test rig to allow the blade to be routed so that it moved in the correct direction relative to the blade extension/retraction and was viewable through a large window showing the correct measurement for the complete body length.
Once the prototype rig was signed off, we worked on the aesthetics trying to create a practical, vibrant, fun yet tough design. Once this concept was signed off and green colour was identified as being unusually unique and vibrant, the name just had to be GatorTape.
We worked closely with our manufacturing partners to achieve a robust product with a smooth action. Available in metric, imperial and dual scales. The product has an accompanying fabric holster for toolbelt attachment and a special hook attachment for measuring curtains.