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Wi-Fi weather station could help create world's biggest weather-monitoring network

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August 27, 2012

Netatmo's Urban Weather Station consists of Wi-Fi-connected indoor and outdoor modules

Netatmo's Urban Weather Station consists of Wi-Fi-connected indoor and outdoor modules

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There is no shortage of smartphone apps that compile information from official weather monitoring sources, but if you’re looking to get some info on conditions closer to home – or inside it – then the Urban Weather Station from Netatmo could fit the bill. Designed specifically for iOS devices, (but also supporting Android devices), the cylindrical units monitor a range of environmental elements inside and out. Netatmo also hopes to use the Wi-Fi-connected devices to create “the largest weather and air quality monitoring network ever established.”

The Netatmo system consists of two separate modules, one for indoors that is powered by USB, and one for outdoors, which draws power from four AAA batteries that should provide power for up to one year. The indoor unit’s sensors measure temperature, humidity, air pressure, CO2 levels and sound levels, while the outdoor unit measures temperature and humidity.

Users can access a seven-day forecast, with those in the U.S and Europe also able to access outdoor air quality index information, both of which are pulled from online sources. Both units transmit their readings to an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Android device running version 2.3.4 or higher via Wi-Fi (b/g/n), with readings accessed via a free app.

Netatmo's Urban Weather Station sends real time alerts when indoor CO2 levels rise

As well as letting users pick the best time to grab some exercise outdoors when the air quality is best or ventilate a room when CO2 levels are on the rise – the app will even sound a real time alert in such cases and let you know when CO2 levels have returned to normal – Netatmo also hopes to pool data collected from multiple devices as part of its Urban Weather Program.

This program is designed to create a worldwide weather-monitoring network that meteorologists, environmental activists, scientists and people living in urban environments can use to gain a better understanding of their environment. With the data captured on the units also stored permanently so users can compare environmental conditions over time via a free online account, the company also sees the potential for the network to become an important resource for climate research.

Netatmo's Urban Weather Station lets users monitor environmental conditions over time

The indoor unit measures 45 x 45 x 155 mm (1.8 x 1.8 x 6 in), while the outdoor module is a bit shorter at 45 x 45 x 105 mm (1.8 x 1.8 x 4.1 in). Both are constructed from a single piece of aluminum and the outdoor unit is UV-resistant (although there’s no mention of waterproof). Both come with a kit for mounting on a wall and should work over a wireless range of 100 m (328 ft).

Netatmo is selling the Urban Weather Station for US$179. The App for iOS devices is available as a free download from the Apple App Store, while the Android App is set to arrive on Google play this October.

A promo video from Netatmo can be viewed below.

Source: Netatmo

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.   All articles by Darren Quick
6 Comments

How will their location me monitored and will the suitability of their location be taken into account?

Pikeman
28th August, 2012 @ 02:10 am PDT

A solar cell and an assymetrical annemometer would provide both power, as well as light and cloud cover data, and wind speed and direction as well, and would not cost more than about $2 to add... silly manufacturer...

Heck - I can buy a solar powered garden light (panel, nimh AAA, led, circuit, all in a case) for 99cents *retail*... my $2 guess could be double more than their real cost even...

christopher
28th August, 2012 @ 04:06 am PDT

Oh yeah - and outdoor stuff needs to be lightning-proof too - I've returned *three* >$1000 weather stations after they each got fried in different storms...

christopher
28th August, 2012 @ 04:07 am PDT

re; christopher

Build a chicken wire cage around it. Mike Faraday

Pikeman
28th August, 2012 @ 10:01 pm PDT

$179. so I can collect data for you? NO. Use my wifi and cell minutes for your data? NO.

You want my help? Provide the sensors free of charge, set it for solar power, or supply the batteries. and a slight stipend to offset the added cost of my cell service.

The only advantage of this system I can see right off is CO2 monitoring. I already have one.

I can see misuse by law enforcement using air samples to sniff for crimes without a warrant. There have already been misuse of recon drones spying through windows. (without warrants.)

I don't smoke, but I could see air analyzers being used for probable cause. I have heard that lotion sometimes triggers sniffers at airports as chemical explosiveness. You want the cops kicking in the door, because the wife is moisturizing her face and legs?

I could even see monitors become "mandatory for the greater good", and liberty and freedom take another kick in the teeth.

There are few things I get worked up about, but any possible threat to our rights and freedoms will do it.

kellory
29th August, 2012 @ 02:35 pm PDT

Why not have the same air quality thoughness outdoors as in? In that way one could have an accurate basis of comparison from which to fully appreciate the indoors quality leval.

Another tangent of indoor air quality that would've been really good to measure would've been carbon monoxide. Other indoor pollutants could also eventually be measured such as allergens.

As it stands now the device/system does lean way more towards the accumulation of data for the benefit of the masses and less for the individual.

SciGuy3822
31st August, 2012 @ 09:48 am PDT
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