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Students Create Handy Phone App

February 14, 2012, 5:03 PM by Nicole Winters

Students Create Handy Phone App
SIOUX FALLS, SD - There are all kinds of applications you can download on your smart phone, anything from travel advice to the latest news and weather conditions. Now, you can also find out exactly what size nut or bolt head you have by taking a picture of it thanks to two 17-year-old Sioux Falls Students.

As a high school engineering student at CTE, Ty Barringer tinkers with small machines daily. Often times, it requires him to find the proper hardware, which can be a pain.

"If you're replacing bolts, it sucks to have to get out a pitch measuring gage and try to figure out what size the head is," Barringer said.

It's a tedious task he wanted to make easier. So, he and a fellow 17-year-old high school student , Aaron Decker, came up with a way to make that happen.

"We wanted to make an app where if you take a picture of the bolt head next to a quarter or a general reference object, it will tell you the size of it," Barringer said.

His friend wrote the computer code, Barringer did the graphic design and they came up with the Bolt Sizer, an app for Smart Phones.

"Now we've got it to the point where it will also tell you the thread pitch or shaft length, or basically anything you'll need to know about a bolt," Barringer said.

One of the reasons the students created the app was so you don't have to dig through your tool box to find the size of a nut or bolt.  Instead, you can use your smart phone to snap a picture and get your answer in just seconds.

"You just draw calipers over the quarters and draw calipers over the bolt head as well and it tells you what sizes it would be in English or metric measurement," Barringer said.

People in ten different countries are currently trying the app so if you don't have a quarter, no problem.  There's a whole list of other coins that will work as well.

"Our average is four and a half stars, so it seems like everyone likes it," Barringer said.

In just two and a half weeks of being on the market, 40 people have downloaded the pro-version, which costs $1.  1,500 have downloaded the free version. Barringer hopes more people will give it a try and like it as much as he does.

"I thought it would be really neat to have.  Thought there'd be a lot of people who would like to have it," Barringer said.

The app is only available on Android phones right now. You can find it by searching the developer name DBT or by searching for Bolt Sizer.

Barringer says he and  Decker are saving the money made on the Pro version to buy application space on the iPhone. He's hopeful they'll raise the money and get it on there soon.

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