August 28, 2012
Calling All Weather Nerds! Your Latest Monitoring System Has Just Arrived
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Humans are fascinated with the weather. It gives us something to talk about when there´s not much to say and it gives us something to collectively despise when it begins to act up. We even act strangely in times of bad weather, exhibiting behavior such as standing on the back porch staring into the clouds during a tornado watch or instinctively rushing to the grocery store whenever rain approaches.
While many have no problem keeping the Weather Channel on in the living room to provide nothing more than background noise, some would prefer to watch with ardent intent, getting goosebumps whenever a Doppler image is shown or having their blood pressure respond in kind upon hearing talk of a rising barometer.
For these weather-philes, theres a new kit which aims to completely cater to your affinity for clouds, dew points, pressure and precipitation.
Netatmo´s $179 Weather Station is a complete kit, featuring a smartphone and tablet app, as well as weather monitoring hardware which can be used both inside and outside. These monitors can relay information about air quality, humidity, temperature and more. Each kit comes with two of these futuristic, cylindrical monitors, one for inside use and one for outside use. The monitor which will be made to face the elements runs on batteries, while the favorite and pampered monitor comes equipped with an AC wall adapter. Rather than have these monitors communicate directly with your smartphone or tablet, they relay their information directly to Netatmo´s servers via your home Wi-Fi network.
This means that each person who has a Netatmo Weather Station is contributing towards better and more precise weather information for the benefit of all users. When you pull up the app, you´re able to call into the servers and see an accurate, up-to-date picture of the weather wherever you are, thanks to the crowd-sourcing efforts of your Netatmo buddies.
According to a review of this kit at Time.com, setup is a breeze. Simply pop the batteries in the outdoor monitor, find a place for your indoor monitor, then set up an account online, which will register your monitors with the servers and get you setup to begin nerding out over the weather.
These monitoring stations quickly begin gathering data once setup is complete. Of course, they´re able to measure the usual indoor/outdoor temps, barometric pressure and humidity, but these monitors are able to do even more. For instance, they can measure the volume level of indoor noise, in decibels, and can even measure CO2 in parts per million. In addition, these monitors can measure the air quality, especially helpful if you live in a bustling urban area where air quality alerts are a common occurrence.
The apps bring all this information together with enough style to please a sophisticated weather nerd such as yourself.
The app also delivers the air quality data gathered from the monitors based on the Air Quality Index color code, such as Red, Orange, Yellow, etc. The indoor monitor is used to deliver indoor comfort readings to the app as it measures indoor humidity, temperature, CO2 levels and even noise levels.
According to the Time review, one of the geekier aspects of the app is being able to see all of the data collected, in 5 minute intervals, from your monitors. Simply turn your device sideways, and all that beautiful, beautiful data is laid out for you on a line graph, just waiting for your eyes to pore over every detail.
Though the $179 is pricey for weather monitoring gadgets, it´s likely the bulk of the cost lies in the air quality sensors in the monitors.
As the smartphone and tablet apps are free, it´s likely Netatmo is also trying to offset the cost of their servers. After all, a lifetime´s worth of usage for under $200 isn´t a bad deal.
Keep this weather kit in mind for your favorite weather-phile this gift giving season. Or, if you´d like one yourself, visit the website and surprise yourself a little early.