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Measurement Applications


Measurement Applications


A game to see how many times / accurately students can measure something? Then compare to  a computer? Reaction timer game?

Humans vs Computers

Human vs Computerised Measurement


  • Human beings can be unreliable. If a person is ill or not concentrating they may take the wrong reading. This is also the case if they have not been properly trained.
  • Computers are almost 100% reliable. Whist they can suffer from hardware and software failure, it is rare.


  • Humans are limited in how accurate they can be in their readings, and they can only measure what they can see.
  • Computers can measure incredible small or large objects and can do so more accurately.


  • Humans can only take readings up to perhaps one per second, and they can’t do this for a sustained period.
  • Computers can take readings up to hundreds or thousands or times per second.

Working times

  • Humans need time to eat, sleep and rest. They also need holidays and sick pay. Taking measurements over a sustained time period may result in errors in recording.
  • Computers do not need holidays, sleep, sick pay and do not get bored.


  • Humans cannot take measurements safely in hostile and dangerous environments. Also the repetitive nature of measuring may lead to a loss of concentration.
  • Computers can be send to very hostile environments and the lower cost of computers mean that damage and loss of measurement systems may not be a big issue.



Sports Measurements

Computerised measurement applications are used in a number of different sports.

Car racing

Computerised measurement in car racing is used to monitor multiple areas of driver and vehicle performance, including:

  • Speed & Engine rev counter
  • Location tracking
  • Engine performance tracking

Photo finishes in racing

Automatic photography equipment is used determine the winning horse in horse racing and other sports


Goal line technology is used to determine whether the ball crossed the line of the next.


Medical Measurement

Computerised measurement application systems are used in a wide number of medical systems, including:

  • Monitoring patient vital signs, such as heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen levels
  • Scanning equipment, such as MRI and Xray machines.


Scientific Measurement

Computerised scientific measurement applications are widely used in the scientific industries, especially as many areas of scientific study involve hazardous situations, minuscule objects or require highly precise measurements beyond human capability.

Examples include measuring:

  • the reactions inside of the Large Haldron Collider.
  • radiation levels in nuclear reactors
  • toxic gas emissions from volcanoes.


Weather measurement

Accurate weather and climate forecast depends on getting reliable data from millions or weather stations across the globe. Many of these weather stations are in remote or dangerous locations and as such it would be impossible to rely on human measurement.

Computerised measurements, together with mobile and internet technology allow the weather stations to monitor conditions 24 hours a day and to transmit this data directly to servers.

Example data that is recorded include:

  • Temperature
  • Rainfall
  • Pressure
  • Humidity
  • Pollution
  • Wind speeds