I could see this instrument being a must-have for engineers, easily. Sure would help me in my classes. This is essentially a digital tracing edge, capable of measuring how far a distance your pencil is running alongside the ruler. It can store previous measures and add them together as well. What also interests me is some of the comments on Engadget's story, suggestions to make the device even more handy.
"Multiplication could be implemented to allow the calculation of an area"
"A notch could be added at the starting corner, allowing you to rotate around a center point of a circle. If it was set up properly so that it could measure rotation, you could measure the length of a section of the circumference of a circle."
With the given suggestionsIt's only a concept right now, however it's interesting nonetheless.Doesn't seem too far off from reality as well.