For any outdoor enthusiast, prevailing atmospheric conditions can make for both the best and worst experiences. A clear sunset streaming down a mountain valley can be astoundingly beautiful. But if a sudden change in the wind direction sweeps a blanket of fog over that same valley, the disorientation can be deadly. A new wearable weather station on Kickstarter, named WEZR, wants to help you avoid such unpleasant surprises, using a combination of on-board sensors and live forecast data.
For most situations, the predictions provided by the majority of weather smartphone apps are good enough. You search for the nearest town, and you usually receive an hour-by-hour forecast. But for the windsurfer, the hill walker and the sailor, this data is simply too vague.
WEZR offers a solution to this problem by using a two-pronged approach. In a device that is “the size of a ping pong ball” and designed to clip on to your clothing or equipment, there are four atmospheric sensors measuring local temperature, pressure, wind speed and humidity. The collected data is streamed to the WEZR app via low energy Bluetooth. The app then uses this local knowledge to refine the incoming forecast data it collects from WEZR’s servers, using your phone’s 3G/4G connection. The predictions are pinpointed to your precise location — the app notes your GPS co-ordinates — and the forecast is updated at five-minute intervals.
Team WEZR claims that their data is an improvement on some of the more established competition because it is processed more heavily than the raw data which is spat out by many sites and apps. The WEZR app also provides some unusual but helpful features, like the ability to search for certain conditions in surrounding areas, and every WEZR device contributes to the accuracy of the local forecast.
At the time of writing, the WEZR device is still available for Early Bird Kickstarter backers to pre-order at $99, which seems like good value. Initially, WEZR will cover a central band of the USA, along with Canada and most of Australia, but the launch coverage will expand to the rest of North America and Australia, Western Europe, and Japan if the project’s stretch goals are reached.
For more info, see WEZR’s Kickstarter project page.