Being right in the middle of technology news, I’m always surprised by the creativity of engineers who make the world around us move. iPads make their way into operation rooms, educational systems are being completely restructured around tablets and we stand to witness all that.
Gadgets are present in our lives and they can transform your iPhone into a real medical tool or help you while driving your car or during your travel. But what about the weather? Sure, we did feature a lot of weather apps here on Technology Personalized, but if you want to really understand weather, then you need some weather gadgets or weather instruments, if you want to call them like that. They can be used by kids, professional and just geeky gadget lovers.
Some of the best weather gadgets and instruments
The way we understand weather has also tremendously been improved by technology and while weather instruments have been used mainly by professionals, people like you and me can resort to weather gadgets if they want to have a little fun with the wind and the sun.
There are weather instruments that seem to perform a rather basic job, such as thermometers, wind meters or even umbrellas. But inventive engineers have designed them so that you could immediately fall in love with them. We did our best and tried to find some of the best weather gadgets and instruments you can use to have fun with or in professional purposes.
Home and professional weather stations and sensors
As the official description goes, a traditional weather station is a “facility with instruments and equipment for observing atmospheric conditions to provide information for weather forecasts and to study the weather and climate“. But the purpose of our article is to find weather gadgets and instruments that you could move around, so we’ll provide you with a few weather station kits and sensors that can be used in equal measure by professional and casual users.
Weather stations are probably the most looked for weather gadgets since they come with a set of functions measuring:
- Barometric pressure
- Wind speed and direction
- Precipitation amounts
The wireless weather station from Davis Instruments is a self-contained weather monitoring system that comes with the following:
- Integrated Sensor Suite (ISS)
- LCD console backlit 3 by 4.375-inch LCD display with a glow-in-the-dark keypad
- Mounting hardware
This weather station allows for wireless transmission from ISS to the console for a distance of up to 1,000 feet. It also has fast update times, once at every 2.5 seconds. It gathers data about weather conditions like indoor and outdoor temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, wind speed and direction, dew point, and rainfall. At the time of writing this article, it was $318 on Amazon.
We want everything to be linked with our smartphones, every other gadget out there should have an app that would allow us to control it or to know what it’s doing through an app. That’s why the Netatmo personal weather station is so great – it lets you monitor weather and air quality straight from the comfort of your iOS or Android device. It can measure a lot of things:
- Chances of rain
- Indoor/outdoor air quality
- CO2 levels
- Acoustic comfort
- Barometric pressure
It will also send you real-time alerts when certain levels are reached, such as the case with air pollution. Being constructed out of aluminum, the weather station’s shell is really elegantly designed. At USD 179, it might not be that expensive for those looking to be in total control of their environment.
The 4M Weather Station Kit is by no means a “groundbreaking” or stellar weather gadget as it is aimed at kids. But this is a great device to help your children learn about the surrounding climate while tracking weather changes and conducting experiments with a small greenhouse of their own! Your kids will absolutely love it, you can be sure of that! And probably the best part is that you will have to spend only ten dollars to get it.
The Smart-Pach Weather Sensor from Toro is great for those of you that want to monitor temperature, rainfall, and solar radiation. For only $40 (down from a whopping $160), this smart weather sensor will store all programming in its memory for up to 5 years without requiring batteries at all! If you want, you can also connect it to your local water system to automatically control your automatic sprinkler system in order to lower water usage.
This portable weather station from Campbell Scientific provides basic weather station measurements such as wind speed, wind direction, air temperature, relative humidity, barometric pressure, solar radiation, precipitation. It can also calculate many related weather parameters like evapotranspiration, growing degree days, wind chill, dew point and others. You will need to send an inquiry to know the price.
Just like the weather station mentioned above, the C-5 SAM is one more that could be easily used especially by professionals. The C-5 SAM is a portable weather station aimed at professionals with a low budget. It can give you the averages of wind speed and direction, air temperature and wind stability. The best part about this weather station is that it is highly resistant as its sensor head is constructed of anti-corrosive aluminum. From the official description:
The electronics microprocessor and display screen are shock mounted for maximum durability, and the exposed cable from the sensor head to the display processor is shielded, polyurethane, cut-resistant, and rugged
When it starts to rain, anywhere you are on this world, you quickly grab your umbrella, if you have to go outside. It’s probably one of the most used weather instruments, if we can call it like that. But a basic umbrella is not something that you could call a weather gadget. However, there are some smart umbrellas that you can use and have fun with, with different functions. Let’s have a look.
- Senz° smart umbrella – stormproof umbrella of up to 80 km/h, has a 12 months storm warranty, comes in trendy colors and is budget friendly at an average of €30
- Pileus: The Internet Umbrella – Internet-connected umbrella that has a large screen on the top surface, a built-in camera, a motion sensor, GPS, and a digital compass and lets you share photos and provides 3D map navigation. Since this is still a concept, a price has not been yet set up.
- Samurai Sword Handle Umbrella – a sturdy umbrella that has the handle in the form of a samurai sword with nylon “scabbard” and adjustable shoulder strap and is available at $20
- Star Wars/Blade Runner Umbrella – umbrella with a StarWars Lightsaber hilt and anodized shaft; futuristic black umbrella with LED shaft, Blade Runner-themed. The StarWars umbrella will cost forty dollars and the Blade Runner one will sell for $25.
It might seem weird for some to consider a coat to be a weather gadget, but when you think about freezing temperatures outsides or radiation, then it suddenly makes sense. There is a also a coat for those that carry with them their smartphone, tablet, charging docks – yes, there is a coat that will help you house all that.
- SeV Revolution – 26 pockets suitable for all your gadget; breathable & water-resistant; dry Magnetic pocket closures; Black Machine Washable Polyester at $175
- SeV Women’s Trench – 18 discreet pockets for your gadgets; water and stain-resistant; magnetic closures on pockets; weight management system; 100% Water-resistant Polyester at $150
- AIQSmartClothing ShieldMan – anti-electromagnetic radiation textile consisting of a fine metal mesh; excellent fabric quality; soft and lightweight; non-irritant; anti-static. The prices have not yet been established.
Barometers are one of the well-known weather instruments that have been used since antiquity. The word “barometer” has now become a word that is used to describe and register fluctuations. However, the true purpose of a barometer is to measure atmospheric pressure. We’ve tried to gather some of the best looking barometers there are that one could easily consider a weather gadget.
- Amazing weather ball – at less than thirty dollars, this WeatherBall barometer will quickly notify you with any variation in atmospheric pressure. When the barometer detects high pressure, the liquid from inside will get pushed down the spout. At low pressure, the liquid will rise. This barometer sells for $25.
- Weather glass with wall plaque – this is not only a weather gadget, but also an addition to the style of your home. This barometer forecasts weather changes 4 to 12 hours in advance. It is mounted on a good-looking wooden wall plaque. You can fill it with water or alcohol and start monitoring the weather! This elegant barometer can be yours for $79.
- Ambient Weather Galileo Thermometer and Glass Globe Fluid Barometer – this is a 2-in-1 weather gadget, as it has a thermometer and a barometer. The Galileo thermometer has a sealed glass tube filled with liquid and some floating bubbles that change their colors according to the outside temperature. The barometer has a 5.9 inch height but even that is enough to know when a storm is coming. As of now it is $23 on Amazon, down from the initial price of $40.
Rain, snow gauges
A rain or a snow gauge (referred to as udometer, pluviometer or an ombrometer) are very basic weather instruments that used to gather and measure the amount of liquid precipitation over a set period of time. Basically, you could do the job only using a measured gauge. But there are some rain and snow gauges that come with some features that truly make them smart weather gadgets.
- Oregon Scientific Long Range Rain Gauge – this is a wireless, remote rain gauge that displays daily rainfall records which are shown in inches or millimeters, it also has a 9-day historic. It displays the indoor/outdoor temperature and has a wireless transmission range up to 300-feet for the rain gauge. Get it for $54.
- AcuRite Deluxe Wireless Rain Gauge – the AcuRite wireless rain gauge comes with a special feature, called the flood watch alarm. It also has strong signal penetration, enhanced to 433 MHz. This wireless rain gauge will set you back for $20, down from $40.
- Headwind Digital Color LCD Rain Gauge and Thermometer – now cheaper than the previous two, this digital rain gauge also has a thermometer with a color LCD display that shows indoor and outdoor temperature. This rain gauge tracks the accumulated rainfall amounts and has a self emptying wireless rain collection cup. The low battery indicator let you know when you should change batteries. This is a real deal, as it currently sells for only $20, down from its regular price of $71.
You probably already guessed what a humidity monitor does – it monitors the humidity both indoors and outdoors. The ability to monitor the humidity has been incorporated in other more advanced weather gadgets, so you should get a humidity monitor only if you’re interested in its sole function. Humidity monitors are also referred to as hygrometers
- Big Easy Hygrometer, Temperature, Humidity Gauge – this hygrometer reads in Fahrenheit or Celsius units and has a temperature measurement range of 14 to 140 F; the humidity measurement range is from 10 to 90% with an error range of around 5%. Yours for $20.
- Meade Wireless Indoor/Outdoor Thermo Hygrometer – this hygrometer comes with a wireless sensor that sends temperature and humidity data from up 100-feet away thanks to its 3 sensors. Stores minimum and maximum data. Get it for $27.
- Amprobe Temperature/Humidity Meter – a hygrometer that can be used by professionals, it comes with a 0 to 100 Percent relative humidity range, a 4 percent humidity accuracy, -4 to 122 Degrees F range and sensor type electronic capacitance and a Polymer Film. This is not a cheap one, as you’ll to put down $94 to get this semi-professional humidity meter.
Thermometers and smart sensor kits
- Twine – smart sensor kit that let you monitor the moisture and external temperature. Not only that, as Twine lets you know about vibration, orientation changes and keeps you informed via the cloud. The twine basic kit costs $125, the moisture sensor sells separately for $35 and the external temperature sensor also for $35.
- Ninja Blocks – this is mix between a thermostat and a smart sensor kit. The temperature & humidity sensors will help you monitor any place from within or outside your home. The Ninja Blocks Kit will set you back for $199, with the temperature and humidity sensor being priced at $15.
- Nest – Nest is a smart thermostat that adjusts the inside temperature and knows what the humidity is, as well. Being weather aware, it keeps an eye on weather conditions to know how outside temperature affects your energy use. The Nest thermostat will cost $249.
Wind meters (anemometers)
I reckon not too many people would be interested in wind’s speed, but when there’s a powerful storm unleashing, you kind of get curious to see just how powerful the wind really is. With the help of these anemometers you will be able to understand more about the wind and who knows, maybe be able to predict a powerful blizzard that is approaching.
- Skymaster Weathermeter – the Skymaster Weathermeter isn’t a standalone anemometer, but it provides very accurate wind speed data, current, average and maximum. Besides this, it also comes with these features – temperature and heat index, dewpoint barometric pressure and much more. Get it for $159, down from $190.
- Atmospheric Data Center – Wind – being waterproof and very resistant, this is the wind meter gadget you need. It will make you a true master of the wind as it will let you calculate its speed and temperature. You can even check a river’s water-flow with it! $80 is the price you will have to pay to get it.
- Vaavud wind meter for smartphones – once a crowdfunded campaign, Vaavud is now one awesome wind meter smartphone accessory, working with the iPhone 4, 4S, 5 and Samsung Galaxy S2, S3, S4. At €45, the Vaavud comes with a very appealing design and will be found useful by kitesurfers, windsurfers, sailors, para-gliders, model aircraft pilots and just curious persons. The Vaavud wind meter for smartphones comes at €45.
Other interesting weather gadget
Since it’s pretty difficult to group and find all the best weather gadgets one can discover right now, we’ve decided to not kill your weather love so fast and enlist some more awesome weather instruments.