Hello and welcome to Architect Gadgets and to the post 10 Best Gadgets for Architects!
Whether you are an Architect looking for the best gadgets out there for you or whether you are looking for a present for an Architect, you have come to the right place. In this post, we will show you what we believe are the 10 best gadgets for Architects. Ready? Let’s get started!
Before we start listing the products, we would like to explain you quickly how we have chosen them. The following list comes from narrowing down all the gadgets that we like and recommend into a list that touches different areas of Architecture and has different budget options, so you will have more chances to find what you are looking for. Some of these gadgets can be somewhat unknown, but they are all extremely helpful. For some of them, the technology is still not fully developed, but the current state already offers a massive improvement compared to previous alternatives.
As always, we try to make our posts easy to read and understand. For this reason, we have divided the list in the following parts:
- Must-have gadgets
- The-future-is-here gadgets
- This-is-so-cool gadgets
Why this division? Well, we think that it will help you see easily what you might be missing.
For example, the Must-have gadgets are already quite popular products, so most of you will probably already have them. However, if you are still missing any of them, you should consider carefully purchasing whichever is missing, as it will increase the quality of your work and life.
In the other hand, with the The-future-is-here gadgets, we are telling you that these are amazing technologies but that they are still not fully developed. They will give you a competitive advantage if you use them well, but they are not that popular yet, so you are not falling behind.
Finally, the This-is-so-cool gadgets stand out more for their design (or coolness) than for their improvement of your productivity. Although they will be useful, the main reason they are on the list is that we consider them almost like pieces of art. As we Architects love well designed products, we have added them here for you to discover.
After this short introduction, let’s get started with the fun stuff!
As we mentioned in the introduction, these are gadgets where technology has already reached a good level and where, if you do not have the gadget, you are missing a lot in terms of efficiency or quality of your work.
These little gadgets will help you speed up the measuring process on site dramatically. We have not found any studies on the amount of time saved, but all the reviews we read on Amazon of first time users say the same. Buying one of these will at least double your measuring speed. So, if you go to site even once a month, you should have one.
To get started, we recommend the Bosch GLM 20, extremely affordable and easy to use. For a more comprehensive review on the different types of laser measures, please check our post Best Laser Measures for Architects. For an in-depth review, of the Bosch GLM 20, please check our Bosch GLM 20 review post.
Bosch GLM 20 Compact Blaze Laser Distance Measure, 65′
The Bosch GLM 20 is the perfect product for first-time users of laser measures.
Thanks to its one-button operation, you will be using it after seconds of opening it. No manuals or training required. Just open it and start measuring.
With an accuracy of 1/8 inch (3 mm) and a range of 65 ft (20 m), it's an excellent measuring tool for interiors in small projects.
If you work in an open office, you might be surprised to know that it causes a decrease in efficiency of around 15% and a decrease in well-being of around 32% according to a research done by Exeter University. Although you will not be able to avoid a colleague coming over to ask something, you can partially block the background noise and other conversations that distract you with noise isolating headphones. You don’t even need to be listening to music if you don’t want, as noise isolating headphones will block most of the noise in any case. However, if you want complete isolation you will need to put some music on, although at much lower volume than on standard headphones, which is something your ears will appreciate in the future. And with them, you don’t need to go around explaining why you are wearing earplugs.
From the options we have seen, we like the Sennheiser HD 280. I got for Christmas the Sennheiser HD 380 and I have found them to be very comfortable, to block the noise quite well and to have a very good sound quality.
This is not a fancy category, but it will come quite handy in certain circumstances. If you travel a lot, you will certainly benefit from having one, as smartphones and other small gadgets tend to run out of battery when there is no plug around.
We specially like the Anker brand and specifically the Anker PowerCore+ mini 3350 mAh. It has the size of a lipstick, which makes it very easy to bring around.
Anker PowerCore+ mini 3350mAh Lipstick-Sized Portable Charger (3rd Generation, Premium Aluminum Power Bank) One of the Most Compact External Batteries, Uses Panasonic Cells
The Anker Advantage: Join the 10 million+ powered by our leading technology.
High-speed Charging Technology: PowerIQ detects your device to deliver its fastest possible charge speed up to 1 amp.
Ultra Compact: Our original lipstick-shaped aluminum design (3.7 × 0.9 × 0.9in, 3oz). Recharges in 3-4 hours with a 1 amp adapter (not included) and the included Micro USB cable.
These are gadgets where technology is still developing, but that could already give you a massive advantage in the quality of your work. Some of them could as disrupting as the change from paper to 2D CAD was.
If you are using BIM (and if you are not, you should), Virtual Reality glasses are an amazing addition. Within Revit, you can easily render a 360-degrees panorama and, afterwards, put it in your mobile, which you fit into the VR glasses. When that is done, you can watch around as if you were already in the space. The feeling is as good as the render is. Therefore, if you know how to render properly, it can already feel extremely realistic.
The Google Cardboard VR glasses are inexpensive and easy to use.
Google Cardboard viewer Wearable for Android 4.1 or Higher, or iOS 8.0 or Higher – Brown
Using your smartphone and VR apps, games, or videos, Google cardboard puts you into stunning environments that stretch out all around you.
Cardboard supports most Android or iOS phones with screen sizes from 4 to 6 inches. It also has an interactive click button that works with all compatible phones.²
Cardboard assembles in three simple steps. It also Features custom-designed, high-quality lenses for immersive visuals and a partially laminated body for durability.
Another incredible addition if you are using BIM or any other 3D program such as Rhino or Sketchup is the ability to quickly print a 3D model. Although this technology is currently developing extremely fast and probably things will get much better in the near future, it is still very useful to have it in the present. It can help you check different volume options, facade details, everything you can imagine.
You can spend almost as much as you want with this. If you are interested, check our 3D printers section. One 3D printer we like because of its good rating and affordable price is the New Matter MOD-T Desktop 3D Printer.
New Matter MOD-t Desktop 3D Printer | Built-In WiFi, Easy to Use, Safe and Quiet
Elegantly Simple - Easy setup allows you to begin 3D printing within 20 minutes
WiFi Enabled - Print wirelessly from your computer, tablet, or smartphone
High Quality Reliability - Expect a higher print success rate and resolutions as fine as 50 microns
As Architects, one of our main tasks is sketching. It helps us think, it helps us explain concepts and it helps us test ideas. If you are like me, you probably have dozens of sketches on your desk (although I do keep them all in a pile, mind you). With the drawing monitor, you can draw on it and the sketch will be digitally saved. You can keep them all in your computer and save a fair amount of paper (and messiness) on the process.
If you are not sure whether you will make the most of this type of gadget, we recommend you to start with one of the low-budget options, the Eleduino 11.6″ portable touchscreen monitor, as this product family can get very pricey.
Eleduino 11.6″ Portable Touchscreen Monitor Full HD 1920 1080 LCD Display with Hdmi Input,Ultra Slim,USB Powered,Bulit in Speakers, Support Pen Pressure Sensivity … (T116A)
Lcd Penel:with 1920 x 1080 Native Resolution, 16:9 Aspect Ratio and the Viewing Angle 170°Degrees, the Monitor Delivers Good Visual Experience.
USB-HID Mulit-Touch，10 Points Touch,Windows 7、8 、10 Plug In And Play，Support Linux And Android , Raspberry Pi3 2B B A+ Raspbian Tested.
USB 5V powered, Low Power Consumption,You can Powered Via on-Lap Usb or Power Bank
We have already mentioned a 3D printer, but what if you could just simply draw a model? This might sound like a crazy concept, but it is actually possible with 3D pens. You will see that most of the 3D pens out there are targeted to kids. However, I believe that having one could help Architects explore ideas much faster and accurately. Moreover, they are quite inexpensive, which makes it a low-risk investment and worth a try.
A very good rated product 0n Amazon is the 3D Printing Pen by AIO Robotics. I have personally yet not try a 3D pen yet, but I might buy one in the near future. If some of you have tried one (in the architectural field), please let us know your view in the comments below.
These are gadgets that will not have a great impact in the quality of your work, but that are extremely well designed and beautiful. As we are Architects and design is part of who we are, we thought that they should also have its space in this post.
Mini projectors could be a great option if your work life implies going around clients’ offices for presentations. If you usually do that, I am sure you have arrived at one meeting and have found out that the colours in the projector of the meeting room look completely wrong. This makes your presentation and design look sloppy (no matter how many times you mention how different it looks on this computer than on yours) and does not help you convey the information and your design as you see it. In this case, Tenker S6 Mini projector comes really in handy. Instead of having to bring around a massive projector (I have seen that), you can bring this amazing product that will fit easily within your bag. Small and sharp, it is a great addition to your toolbox.
TENKER S6 Mini Cube Pico Projector with Wi-Fi, Smart DLP Projectors for Outdoor Indoor Movies, Includes Mini Tripod, 30,000-Hour Leds, Supports Android and iOS Devices
HIGH DEFINITION DISPLAY IMAGES: Featuring DLP technology from Texas Instruments, this Cube DLP Projector brings razor sharp pictures and amazing videos with incredible color and brightness. It furthermore supports 1080p video files and has a native resolution of 854*480 (FWVGA). This projector provides you with an awesome viewing experience.
Wi-Fi DISPLAY: The built-in Linux system with Wi-Fi is integrated with the most advanced 802.11a/b/g/n for both 2.4ghz switches, enables simultaneous screen mirroring and streaming. Thanks to this, you can achieve not only Miracast for Android devices, but also Airplay for iOS devices. Enjoy your favorite movies or pictures more conveniently, anywhere.
BATTERY CHARGING: The internal rechargeable 2,600 mAH lithium battery provides up to 1-1.5 hours of playing time on a single charge, whilst the RGB LED lights have a super service-life of up to 30,000 hours. Never be left in the dark again.
NeoSmarten N2 (Intelligent pen)
For those of you that don’t like the idea of drawing all day long in a touchscreen monitor, intelligent pens might be your solution. You can use them as standard pens, but they are able to scan what you are writing / drawing instantly, so you have your paper version and your electronic version available. The technology is not yet fully developed and therefore the ratings you see on Amazon are not really high. One product that people recommend, though, is the NeoSmarten N2. Really amazing idea that could be worth a try.
Pantone RM200+BPT01 Capsure (Colour scanner)
Tired of trying dozens of colour combinations before you find one you like? What if you could know straight away any colour you see around and use it afterwards in your drawings? The Pantone RM200+BPT01 Capsure is a one-of-a-kind product. It will probably not be worth the money for most of you, but its capabilities could be priceless to some. Colour control on site, colour inspiration from nature or other buildings… the options are open to your imagination.
PANTONE RM200+BPT01 Capsure with Bluetooth, 1-Pack
Allows user to build a complete color program and increased quality control
Quickly and easily measure and compare samples with intuitive user interface.
Create and store up to 20 standards using the averaging function for highest accuracy.
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