PlanEdge: Create Floorplans On A Tablet With A Laser Measure

October 20th, 2014

PlanEdgePFRE reader Sean Elliott at Exposure Property Marketing told me about some new floor plan creation software. Sean said:

Whilst the market is quieter I thought I would take the opportunity to contact you about a new product we are using at Exposure Property Marketing.  We have helped a software company here in the UK Boxcubic Ltd design a new tablet based floor plan app that allows users to draw plans digitally on-site without the need to re-draw them later or outsource them to an offshore CAD team.

The website for PlanEdge is planedge.co.uk. The site has pretty complete information on the product, with a series of video tutorials.

I think this is a great concept! Pairing a blue tooth laser measuring device with a tablet and creating the floor plan as you walk through the property is a great design. My only feedback to Sean was that it would be great to have this App available on IOS and Android. Right now Windows tablets are 3% of the market, Android is 61% and IOS has 35%. Although, since the cost of the tablet you are using, is a relatively small part of the yearly cost, it may make sense to just go purchase a Windows Surface 2 tablet so you can use this application.

So what does everyone think of Sean’s application? Give him your feedback.

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15 Responses to “PlanEdge: Create Floorplans On A Tablet With A Laser Measure”

  • @Larry, I think you are correct to encourage Sean to develop an Android and IOS version. It’s not the cost of buying a dedicated Surface, it’s having to carry around yet another device. There is also the danger that MS will stop making the Surface as they have already lost a couple of billion dollars on it already.

  • I agree with Ken about the platforms, the software looks very promising but I am not going to buy a new device to check out the trail version. I can hire a Bluetooth Disto for a few dollars a day but getting my hands on a windows tab would be a lot harder.

    Some suggestions:
    The addition of Z axis for those of us that do commercial plans that need ceiling height included.
    Export to CAD for those of us that do 3D floor plans and a whole new market besides.

    If this software works as well as it claims too exporting to .SKP will open up a whole new market for you guys, Architects, Building designers, Stylists and a myriad of other industry related folks will be all over this software IF it is easily accessible across platforms…. we can negotiate fees later 🙂

  • I think they essentially have a desktop product they are trying to market as a mobile app by saying “it runs on a tablet”.

    The fact that it’s a Windows 8 Tablet with very little market share doesn’t help. I wouldn’t be surprised if shortly a another company produces something similar running on Android and iOS.

  • Um…there already is software to do this on your iPad from the field. It’s called Total Mobile by Alamode (available for iOS, Android, and Windows). I use it for 4-6 floor plans a day. Works quite well.

  • @ Matt – that software looks like it does a lot more than just floor plans, how useful is it if you only need to make floorplans?

    Josh Mais – Kansas City Spaces

  • MagicPlan already does this on an iPad. It only costs $2.99 a plan, or $10 a month, and works brilliantly. It can use lasers, but doesn’t need them. It captures room corners with the camera and calculates room sizes from that. I check them with a laser measure and adjust if necessary.

  • @Josh – It might be overkill for someone just doing floorplans. I use it as part of my suite of appraisal software (I am also an appraiser). I actually don’t know what it costs to buy as a standalone- it might be cost prohibitive.

  • Leica’s Disto 110….. Bluetooths to any Tablet, using a free sketch app. Very slick, very accurate and easy. And for $150.00….. done deal.

  • Mike, which sketch app do you use?

    All:

    I am starting out as a real estate agent and have never before done a floor plan. Do I need to practice this and develop it as a skill or is it straightforward and easy to learn? Obviously I will practice on my own property but just want to get a feel for how much time it will take us to develop a capability on top of the photos and video side which I don’t want to outsource as I think it is a core part of the service and therefore want to develop the skill in house.

    Thanks.

  • Apparently this is the device and app that Mike is referring to: http://www.leica-geosystems.us/en/Leica-DISTO-Apps_102581.htm Gives info on the laser device and the Apps it works with.

  • Many of the products you guys are throwing up as alternatives are very limited in what they produce. it’s worth noting that appraisers only require basic ‘mud maps’ whilst floorplans for real estate need to be a lot more professional. The leica app with the Disto 110 is pretty basic, not much more than a line drawing with accurate measurements. The Planedge product appears to give you a professional quality plan ready to publish with bluetooth input.

    Whilst there are other good products/sites like floorplanner, I’m yet to see one that enables you to complete a floorplan onsite (of any quality), that didn’t require further processing.

    The last time I tried MagicPlan, it was very buggy, I gave up in frustration.

    Windows tablets wont suit everyone, but by the same token, many users (myself included) don’t want to run iOS or Android.

  • Hi All
    Thanks for all the comments. We decided to help create PlanEdge after searching the market high and low for an already commercial product that created very accurate floor plans that also looked good for the purpose of marketing.

    Many of the applications that we looked at including some of those mentioned didn’t allow the ability to measure internal wall thickness which is critical for accurate area calculations as well as ensuring that external walls line up.

    Other product such as MagicPlan which don’t rely on Laser input were inaccurate especially in a room where corners are not visible (e.g.) kitchens or bedrooms with fitted furniture/closet and we spent most of our time checking and amending the measurements with a laser!

    @Rob: Thanks for the suggestions, very interesting and something we have not considered, regarding the z axis. We have looked at outputs to CAD which is not as easy as it may appear. We wanted the PlanEdge drawings to have the ability to update rooms on the fly with modifications cascading through the drawing; it is therefore not built using a CAD engine.

  • @Tom – In my market area, it is pretty much a requirement that you be a licensed/certified appraiser to measure homes with any credibility. The real estate agents in this area are very wary of using anyone to measure a home that isn’t an appraiser. I don’t know if it is the same in your state, but would be worth asking a handful of good agents before you pursue it. Sometimes the Real Estate Commission has a requirement that homes be measured by the agent, or by a licensed appraiser.

    As far as guidelines for measuring, we follow the ANSI standards. You can find a copy of those online and it will help with the rules. For technique- just practice a ton! I have been measuring 4-6 homes a day for about 7 years now, and there are still properties that present challenges due to angled walls and irregular layouts.

  • Looks very interesting. I could see me giving this software a go, but it’s a shame that there are so few tutorial vids on the Planedge website.

  • @Matt Davis – Great to hear you think PlanEdge could be of interest. We will be adding more videos over the next day or two and the plan is to keep adding to them with additional videos and tips in the blog.

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