Many years ago when my wife and I were looking for the perfect house, I used to pore over the floor plans that home builders would create. While it was often difficult to translate the lines that designated the walls and doors of the house into a three-dimensional representation of what the interior actually looked like, the floor plans were helpful in at least getting an idea of how foot traffic would flow and where we could place furniture when we could afford it.
A French-Canadian development company, Sensopia, has just released an app that takes the work out of creating floor plans. Sensopia's MagicPlan works with the iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch. To build a floor plan, you go into each room and take a picture of each corner of the room. By doing that, MagicPlan measures the walls and doors in the room, and it creates a floor plan of each room. You then slide the rooms into their proper location by dragging them on the screen, and MagicPlan aligns the rooms and manages the thickness of the walls. Finally, furniture and photos can be added to show what the actual house or apartment looks like, and geotagging information is attached.
The app is free for download, and the free version provides you with a watermarked non-commercial use JPEG, PDF or a version that is uploaded to a website for viewing. For US$4.99, the watermark is removed and the floor plan is available for commercial use. For US$9.99, Sensopia throws in six months of web hosting -- the latter is useful for real estate agents who want to show off floor plans and photographs to potential home buyers.
There's a video on the next page showing how this innovative app works.