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"We are all repositories for genetically-encoded information that we're all spreading back and forth amongst each other, all the time. We're just lousy with information."
- Neal Stephenson

Automated Surface Measurement  
  A mechanical method of accurately measuring a surface.  

At this point in the story, Graham is being measured for a suit. A device is used to provide an automated measurement of key points on his body.

...the tailor pulled out a number of slotted arms terminating in little discs, pulling them out until the discs were flat against the body of Graham, one at each shoulder blade, one at the elbows, one at the neck and so forth, so that at last there were, perhaps, two score of them upon his body and limbs. At the same time, some other person entered the room by the lift, behind Graham. The tailor set moving a mechanism that initiated a faint-sounding rhythmic movement of parts in the machine, and in another moment he was knocking up the levers and Graham was released.
From When the Sleeper Wakes, by H.G. Wells.
Published by Unknown in 1899
Additional resources -

This item is a remarkable prediction of modern devices that are used to digitize surfaces for part manufacturing; a part is sculpted and then its surface is digitized for entry into a computer-aided design (CAD) system.

Compare to the feeler-planes from Jack Vance's 1954 novel The Houses of Iszm.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from When the Sleeper Wakes
  More Ideas and Technology by H.G. Wells
  Tech news articles related to When the Sleeper Wakes
  Tech news articles related to works by H.G. Wells

Automated Surface Measurement-related news articles:
  - Body Scanner May Improve Online Shopping

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Focus Life Gear Protects From Virtual World

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