i came across this thread and i am excited because this is what our initial idea was before we ended up with weendy (http://weendy.com
We were tired of chasing the wind... We were driving 2 hours every day and we ended up with no wind at all.... Forecasts had failed and
there was no weather station or camera in the area.
We were really frustrated when we came up with the idea of turning our iPhone to social anemometer!
The idea was simple: If someone is on the spot, he/she will report wind conditions and everyone else will know!
We were thinking of attaching an external device to the audio jack which would translate wind power to knots/bft/mph whatever, and then would be uploaded to a web server and become accessible to the public
We were EXCITED!
For measuring the wind,we had the following options:
- using a cap-based anemometer (big in size, lots of moving parts but was the simplest option)
- using an impeller anemometer (smaller but more expensive + external circuit)
- using a thermal anemometer (accurate but really expensive + external circuit)
- using microphone, just like windmeter app does (inaccurate)
We made a prototype using a 20$ impeller anemometer and started asking people on the beach what they thought about.
The majority said that the moving part (external component) is a pain to have with you, plus it is fragile.
Then we went with thermal anemometer. Thermal anemometer is a great option: small size, accurate, no moving parts....
BUT IT WAS EXPENSIVE + it needs an extra circuit that would translate to frequency.
Using the microphone was the next option, but it is not accurate at all, especially in conditions where wind is over 18 knots or less than 5 knots.
What's the benefit of reporting inaccurate data?
We were disappointed
How the hell are we going to measure the wind?
Drinking some beers with the guys at the beach, some days later, we asked our selves:
What do we usually do, when we want to learn about the wind? The answer is that we start calling each other and asking for wind ESTIMATION.
What size? Does it worth it? Is it too gusty? Is it going to rain? Should i drive to the spot?
If you want to know about the wind, ask a kiter (or a sailor, a windsurfer, a lifeguard etc) who happen to be at the spot.
Our estimation, is the best option to have. We know when the conditions are fine or not. Anemometers provide accurate TECHNICAL
data about wind, not QUALITY data that do matter.
So we decided that we are going to make weendy CROWD SOURCED - HUMAN POWERED!
With weendy you take a 5 sec video of the spot, put your wind estimation and add a comment if you like.
The location is automatically detected and all that info are submitted to our servers and then distributed to all other users.
If another kiter is located < 150 km from the spot, will get a notification about the wind conditions there.
You can define the distance and wind power you like to get notified (for example, only for 17 + knots and in less than 50 km)!
You can also link your Facebook, twitter & foursquare accounts so you can let everyone knows about the reports, even those that don't have the app.
We are currently in the process of beta testing and we hope we will go live by the end of this June.
THE APP IS GOING TO BE COMPLETELY FREE FOR EVERYONE!
to get early access to the app.
Bye and thanks!