Las Vegas -- They are arguably the world's first mobile apps, not counting the abacus. And yet, handheld calculators are showing no signs of disappearing from the job site.
In fact, Calculated Industries, makers of the Construction Master Pro handheld calculator, is adding (some would say multiplying) to its product offering to appeal to new users and old.
With builder-specific functions and buttons, such as "rise," "run" and "slope," the Construction Master Pro calculator has a loyal following among builders and contractors, who over the years have purchased about a million of the devices. Builders at the International Builders' Show were buying them right out of the Calculated Industries booth on the show floor here in Las Vegas.
The calculator itself sells for just under $50. There's a mobile phone app version that sells for $19.95 and has extra features, such as tutorials on each of the calculators function buttons.
Not surprisingly, the younger user embraces the app more than the older user. "Apprentices and the 30 and 40 are going toward the app," said Jennifer Goedde, marketing communications manager for Carson City, Nev.-based Calculated Industries. "But you'd be surprised, because most of them have the handheld version also."
Calculated Industries promoted five platforms for its Construction Master Pro -- handheld version, a larger desktop version, iPad app, iPhone app and PC version.