(Updated 2013/5/5: A new opensourced version of Tempescope is available here: http://tempescope.com !!!)
Finding out tomorrow's weather forecast usually involves actively searching on the web, waiting on the news channel, or resorting to widgets.
How great would it be if this was as easy as looking outside the window?
This thought led me to build Tempescope, a physical display that can reproduce (and ambiently notify) weather conditions, inside your room.
|Tempescope fits snuggly in your bookeshelf.|
The PrototypeAfter several weekends' work, I ended up with this prototype which can simulate four weather conditions: rain, clouds, sunshine, and lightning.
It can also reproduce various colours of the sky, giving visual cues for the time of day.
The device is controlled by an Arduino, which interfaces with a PC via USB or Bluetooth.
There are currently two modes of operation, both of which run as PC programs:
|"World Weather" mode interface|
© OpenStreetMap contributors
"Tomorrow's weather"- which animates tomorrow's weather forecast, and
"World weather"- which reproduces the current weather of any location in the world.
While the former is what I originally intended to make, the latter may be what makes Tempescope interesting, and really worth working on in the future.
One can view the device as containing a teleported slice of a remote world, a little Barbados in your room.
It paves a way for all sorts of applications, some nostalgic (e.g have a slice of your hometown in your office), and some practical (e.g watching out for your loved ones halfway across the globe).
There are many extensions that I could make on the device, including snow, wind, real lightning, and showing land features.
I'd be grateful for opinions, or suggestions for uses.
Some ReferencesThere are several past projects/ideas I believe I'd been inspired by:
- Tenki Zutsu - @endorno, @yuki_B, @include_bababa
- A light stand that changes colour according to tomorrow's weather lookouts.
- Cryoscope - Robb Godshaw
- An aluminium cube that reproduces the temperature outside, giving a haptic feedback for the weather.
- A 1000 year old example of having "a piece of wild nature in your room".
Weather conditions are reproduced by using 2 pumps, an ultrasound diffuser, and an LED:
- rain- the water pump pushes water from the lower chamber to the upper chamber, allowing water to fall through holes drilled at the bottom of the chamber.
- cloud- the ultrasound diffuser in the lower chamber turns on, creating mist. An external air pump pushes air (and mist) up from the lower chamber into the cylinder stage.
- lightning- the full-color LED is turned on at random intervals
- sunlight- the full-color LED changes colour from off to red to blueish white, depending on the time of day.
There is also attached an SD card, which allows animation sequences to be saved and replayed without a PC.
|Arduino and 3xSSRs|
|AC electronics (moderately) safely packaged|
|The final product|
Here's the list of hardware used:
- Ultrasonic Diffuser (Denshi Trade) ¥3,500=$43
- Water pump e-ROKA PF-381 (Gex) ¥1000=$12
- Air pump Ei (Kotobuki) ¥1000=$12
Arduino side: also not very much, though saving+loading from SD card takes some work
Both modes of operation ("Tomorrow's weather" and "World weather") are based on data acquired from Wunderground's API.
This API allows requesting the current weather, or forecasted weather from global coordinates.
Both apps have been written as a Java application, but really anything would suffice.
Again, I'd be grateful for feedback.