If you want to know the time, you use a clock, a watch, or a smartphone. If you want to measure the length of an object, you use a tape measure. But it appears this tape measure didn’t get the memo, as it’s actually a clock.
Alex Fiel and Anna Lynton made this unusual timepiece that uses its measuring tape to indicate the current time. They built it by ripping apart an ordinary tape measure, then installed a custom 3D-printed enclosure, along with an Arduino Nano controller, a stepper motor, and some ball bearings to move the measuring tape in and out of its shell.
While it’s first and foremost designed to work as a clock, I see no reason why you couldn’t use its tape to measure things – assuming it’s late enough in the day to fit the object you’re measuring, and you work fast enough that the time doesn’t change time on you.
You can check out the full build log for the Measuring Time clock over on Instructables.