Wi-Fi weather station could help create world's biggest weather-monitoring network
By Darren Quick
August 27, 2012
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.
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.
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.