It may never be able to slice through a 2x4 or mix cement, but your smartphone can still be a useful tool on a construction site with Ryobi's new Phone Works accessories, which grant your device new capabilities while taking advantage of its large display.
The collection includes eight accessories in all that are designed to either tether or clamp onto a smartphone, which means they're mostly device agnostic. You'll still need a recent generation iOS or Android device to use them, but that covers the vast majority of the smartphone using public.
The Phone Works collection includes a projection laser level, a moisture meter, a video camera inspection scope, a laser distance measurer, a stud finder, an infrared thermometer, a laser pointer that can draw lines and a pair of noise-cancelling earplugs. The most expensive accessories include the $US100 inspection scope and $US80 laser measurer, but on the cheaper end you'll find the $US20 earplugs and the $US15 laser pointer.
To keep your device's home screen clean, all of the Phone Works accessories work with a single, free, accompanying app that lets you select which of the accessories you have attached and want to work with. That also allows all of your measurements and other collected data to be stored in one central location, making them easier to then collate and share through a text message or email. Especially compared to the old method of jotting them down on pieces of scrap plywood. [Ryobi via Notcot]