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Vaavud smartphone wind meter contains no electronics

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March 21, 2013

The Vaavud wind speed meter has no electronic components of its own

The Vaavud wind speed meter has no electronic components of its own

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While the average person may not care too much about the current wind speed, it’s very important to the likes of windsurfers, kitesurfers, and sailors. Although official monitoring stations do provide readings, those stations aren’t always particularly close to the locations where these people do their respective things. That’s why Copenhagen-based Vaavud has created its smartphone-paired wind meter, of the same name. Interestingly, the plug-in device itself contains no electronics.

The Vaavud plugs into the phone’s headphone jack, but that’s simply to hold it in place – it will work even if unplugged and held near the phone.

Instead of circuits or batteries, the device contains two small magnets. As the wind catches the device’s two cups and causes it to spin, the phone’s magnetic field detector detects the rotation of the magnets. The Vaavud app then utilizes algorithms ordinarily used for sound processing, to convert the speed of those rotations into a wind speed reading.

Users can then upload their readings to the Vaavud website, where they will be displayed on a map of the region, along with readings submitted by other users.

The Vaavud plugs into the phone’s headphone jack, but that’s simply to hold it in place – ...

The setup has been tested and calibrated in the wind tunnel at The Technical University of Denmark. Because not all phones’ magnetic field detectors are exactly the same, however, it won’t necessarily work with any make or model. It does work with iPhones 4, 4S and 5, and with the Samsung Galaxy SII and SIII. According to the designers, the Galaxy compatibility means that it should work with any newer Android phone, but they still need to conduct more tests.

Vaavud (the company) is in the process of raising production funds on Kickstarter. A pledge of £20 (about US$30) will get you a wind meter of your own, when and if they’re ready to spin. Prospective buyers might also want to check out the Shaka smartphone wind meter – although its estimated retail price is $59.

More information is available in the Vaavud pitch video below.

Source: Vaavud via Kickstarter

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
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4 Comments

Uploading data to share? Really? How many people do you think know the proper standard to give a proper reading. What about jokers holding it out of the window of a moving car....gimmick I say

Simon Sammut
22nd March, 2013 @ 12:25 am PDT

@Simon Sammut

I assume they won't use the data as scientific fact. In any case, you have to assume they aren't stupid, and know how to separate outliers from other statistical data.

Jay Lloyd
22nd March, 2013 @ 11:32 am PDT

Simply removing outliers is bad science. But if they include the phones other functions GPS, audio pick ups and such in the report it will fix most of the problems.

Slowburn
22nd March, 2013 @ 12:58 pm PDT

Well, given there's abut a bazillion iPhone 3's gathering dust out there now, $30 (plus the cost of a plastic bag & extension for the USB charger) seems a pretty cheap price to pay for the ability to mount a permanent net-connected wind monitor!

christopher
25th March, 2013 @ 12:16 am PDT
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