Leica DISTO™ and Apps - Have you seen it all?

Smartphones and tablets have become an important part of our life.

In our daily lives we are constantly using such devices to access social media, shop online, read the news or weather forecasts, use them for navigation and much more. The same applies to our professional life as we use them to access business emails, create and exchange information, and most importantly, using the right app as a perfect tool to improve our daily work. It starts with simple things, such as a chat group for your team. Project teams can be connected with smartphones for punch-lists, document exchange spaces and time management. This goes up to solutions, which enable construction workers in the field accessing a digital model of their site, to work, update, refine and document everything in a central place.  Each member can access relevant information wherever and whenever they want to.

There are many reasons why these devices became popular and essential parts of our lives. One of the main reasons is the large amount of people around the globe that are writing millions of apps for several different uses. Apps are a small tool used to solve some of your daily problems, either in private or professional life. Try to remember how many apps you have used today. I am using approximately thirteen apps on a daily basis with a wide range. It starts with weather forecasts and news updates in the morning, a traffic app on the way to work, of course the email app, and a notes app to collaborate with my colleagues. Apps that I use in my private life after work are those such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Skype and lastly an app called Bandsintown, which shows me concerts in the nearby area based on my music taste, collected from my music app.

Our first Bluetooth® powered Leica DISTO™ plus was released in the year 2004. For the very early adopters it was already a step into the digital age of work. Creating floor plans and documentation fully digitally with their personal digital assistants (PDA) or laptops on site. During this time, such devices were considered technologically advanced. I remember myself having to share a PDF from one PDA to the other with an infrared interface, having them sit next to each other for about three minutes. If I want to send a friend a two-minute video from my phone, I can use dropbox or OneDrive and I don’t need to watch the process with our phones side by side.

The development of smartphones and their arrival in our life made us at Leica DISTO™ think about our instruments being able to communicate with smartphones. In the beginning it was limited to Android phones, which were quite clumsy to use. When Tim Cook and Phil Schiller from Apple announced the iPhone 4S back in September 2011, people were mainly disappointed because they were expecting an iPhone 5 to come up. But we were fascinated about this announcement, because of one small piece of hardware in it - a Bluetooth 4.0 chip. Why were we so fascinated about a Bluetooth chip, you might ask?

Well, with Bluetooth 4.0 we have finally been able to equip all of our Leica DISTO™ models with a low-power, small size and easy to use connectivity element, which works with a wide range of smartphones (Android and iPhones), we had been looking for this for a very long time. But the timing was just a bit too late. We had already started the development of our Leica DISTO™ D510 back then and we were in the middle of the project, needless to say that the hardware design was already done. After long discussions, planning sessions and negotiations internally, we decided to implement this Bluetooth 4.0 chip. We completely changed the project plan, hardware and software, because we were so convinced that Apps would become an essential part for us in the future. And speaking of Apps, we also had to develop an App in parallel.

Long story short, after a very intense project we were able to launch our Leica DISTO™ D510 and the Leica DISTO™ sketch app in December 2012.



With our Leica DISTO™ sketch app, construction documentation has never been easier and convenient. Measure everything you need with Leica DISTO™ accuracy and reliability to create your documentation digitally on the spot. Either on pictures or on a grid, it can be simple measurements you just need to have on a picture, to save you that extra essay of descriptions as to which measurement belongs to what. Or a floor plan of our office, when we move our desks and verify it we would still fit in there and how.

But it doesn’t stop here. We have a number of partners, supporting our Leica DISTO™ models within their apps, specifically designed for your purpose, workflows and needs.

For instance the Orthograph app, which is an app perfectly suited for indoor surveys, creating as-builds and placing BIM objects (furniture, windows, doors, etc.), includes a 3D walkthrough and seamless Leica DISTO™ integration.

Or check out MagicPlan, an app that is perfectly suited for creating floor plans and models from scratch, even with the camera from your smartphone. If you require pin-point accuracy, use a Leica DISTO™ to improve the quality of your work.

With Floor Plan Creator, you can create floor plans and 3D models with BIM-Objects, and it supports a 3D walkthrough just like MagicPlan and Orthograph.

myMeasure or WinWorker for examples, offer you to create floor plans or photo documentation, team collaboration and more.

You are more into room planning? Try the Room Planner Home Design app from Chief Architect.

If you are used to work with CAD Systems anyway, we have a perfect partner with RedStick, who provides an easy to use and straightforward CAD system for the field.

So go ahead and check the links below for our partner apps, and unleash the versatility of your DISTO™ today with an app that fits your needs. Just go on and give it a try.

We were convinced that our Leica DISTO™ models will become even more powerful with apps, and we can now say, that we did the right thing. If you take a look at our current product range, every new Leica DISTO™ is equipped with Bluetooth® and the feedback we receive confirms our work on Leica DISTO™ communicating with Apps.

Leica DISTO Partner Apps

DISTO sketch

DISTO transfer


Stanley FloorPlan


WinWorker Aufmass

WinWorker Photo Aufmass



Room Planner Home Design

RedStick CAD



Aufmass Pro

Moser Aufmass


Measure Mobile 3

TOTAL for Mobile

Xactimate mobile