Sensors/IoT
Detecting rain without the cloud, BloomSky reports backyard weather

The Premise. Once upon a time, people relied on local news reports or weather sections of newspapers. Now, every smartphone is well equipped to give local weather and temperature data, but so often it tends to be incorrect or inaccurate due to weather monitoring stations that are several miles away.

The Product. BloomSky is a weather sensor that can be installed outdoors using a spike and can be augmented with a solar panel for continuous charge. Its design is more than just for looks, as it provides accurate detection of temperature, precipitation, humidity, and more while protecting the internals from sunlight, dust, and water. BloomSky also comes with a wide-lens HD camera that takes pictures of the sky and sends them straight to smartphones for a real look at the conditions outside. These pictures can then be combined to create time-lapse movies of the day’s weather.

The Pitch. BloomSky’s pitch is pretty straightforward: those looking for accurate weather conditions and want to contribute to a larger network that provides that data to others will want a BloomSky as soon as possible. The flexibility of the device to come with solar options as well as an indoor sensor also make it a great way to replace a home’s thermometers with something more modern. BloomSky is looking to raise $75,000 to finish development of the app and handle tooling and production of the device itself.

The Perks. A BloomSky outdoor sensor with ground stake is available for $99 and will ship out in December. The indoor/outdoor kit can be had for $129, while the outdoor model with solar-powered charger base is $139 and won’t be out until March 2015. One of everything runs for $199, and developers can get in on the beta for $1,299 starting in August.

The Potential. Like so many other products that opt for a crowdsourced approach, BloomSky’s greatest strength could also be its greatest weakness. The idea behind a completely local weather network that people individually add to in order to complete a picture is a fantastic idea that is solely dependent upon there being enough local users in order to flesh out. Thankfully, BloomSky works well enough as a sort of at-home workaround for the inaccuracies of distant weather stations, so the individual can still have some valuable use out of this product even if none of their neighbors purchase it. Aesthetically pleasing and fully functional, those who never step outside without checking the forecast will appreciate the pinpoint accuracy that BloomSky provides.

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