At DeMáquinasyHerramdamientos we have seen extensively what is related to laser levels. It remains for us to talk, then, about the apps that can be used with these tools, and in this first article we will do it with the combined laser level.
What can be achieved with the app that can no longer be done with the tool alone? Well, it is possible to control the position of the level remotely – align, turn the motors and put it on stand-by – and adjust the ignition and brightness of the lines, all of which allows us to improve work efficiency.
Enhance the usefulness of your laser level combined with the use of apps
Connect the level with our phone, tablet or computer
There are two ways to connect the combined laser level to our phone, tablet or computer: via Bluetooth or via a USB cable. The Bluetooth method is universal (it works for all devices) but it slows down file transfers. The USB cable is only suitable for computers and a few tablet models, since the connector is not compatible with mini or microUSB.
We will see the Bluetooth connection first
When opening the application from the tablet, cell phone or computer we will see a selector for the type of connection. We choose Bluetooth. At the moment we will not see anything yet, as we need to link the combined laser level.
When pressing the Bluetooth button in the phone app, another screen will surely appear in which we will be asked to link the device.
In the laser level now we must press the button with the Bluetooth logo. Doing so will link both devices – phone, tablet or computer with the combined laser level – but first we must search for it using a “search” or “search” button.
Typically the device can be identified by a serial number found on the battery or the body of the laser. This is not a problem if we have only one laser level But, in the case of a construction company that owns more than one, it is best to avoid confusion.
In this case the mechanics of the connection are similar, only that we must first connect the USB cable between the laser device and the computer, and then search using the USB button. Since the connection is by cable, it will not be necessary to search and link the two devices.
As we saw at the beginning, it is possible to control the laser level remotely using the app. Among the possible operations is the movement of its motors and the output power of the laser lines.
The operation from this virtual panel is very simple and intuitive. But what practical use can it have? Simple: many times we place the laser level on the floor of the room, but we work on a scaffold or a ladder, so descending to move the level is cumbersome, and it wastes us a lot of time. In addition, remote operation allows lines to be positioned exactly where you want them, without the need to ‘point’ or position, review and correct the position over and over again.
It is also possible to control the brightness of the lines of the combined laser level according to ambient lighting. On a sunny day, when sunlight falls directly on the surfaces to be measured, we will need all the power of the lines to be able to visualize them easily. On a darker day, on the other hand, we might want to minimize the brightness, to save battery life and avoid eye strain.
It is important to remember that the type of light emitted by the combined laser level: can be red or green.
What devices should work on?
Apps are mostly developed for Android and iOS tablets and smartphones; some manufacturers are also starting to develop on the Windows platform.
On the other hand, there are desktop apps, both for PC and Mac, although in these cases these apps are usually reserved for distance and angle measurement equipment.
In the case of a combined laser level, the greatest usefulness of apps is that they can be controlled from the same place where one is working; it wouldn’t make much sense to keep a desktop version to move the motors or adjust the level of the lines. As we will see in other notes, the desktop apps they start to make sense when it comes to downloading information such as measurements.
Now, what device should be used to remotely operate the combined laser level?
The smartphone is the most recommended option for working in more inaccessible places such as scaffolding or on top of a ladder, because its size allows it to be stored in your pocket.
If we are going to work in an environment such as a living room or a room, where there is already furniture, it will surely be convenient to use the tablet —which we can rest on a table— to have the remote control comfortably accessible while we work with more freedom.