The Tempescope is an ambient display that can visualize various weather conditions inside a box.
In today’s tech-savvy world, sure you could always download a weather app or turn on the news to check the latest conditions, but what fun is that? Instead, Ken Kawamoto has developed an ambient physical display that can actually visualize the forecast right from the comfort of your living room, reminding you to never forget an umbrella as you head off to work. Initially released three years ago as an open source project, the Maker and his team have since decided to launch a crowdfunding campaign following an overwhelming interest in their design.
While most home weather displays boast an LED screen or other methods of revealing what’s going on outside your front door, Tempescope literally recreates the forecast from your bookshelf, coffee table, desk or wherever else. Described as like “having a window that lets you look at tomorrow’s sky,” the active gadget is powered by an ATmega328 and equipped with a water pump, an ultrasound mist diffuser and a series of LED lights, all concealed inside a clear acrylic box.
With an AVR chip as its brains, the microcosm in a box interfaces with a PC either through USB or over Bluetooth. Currently, there are three modes of operation: one that animates the next day’s forecast, one that replicates the current weather of any location and shares it with loved ones throughout the globe, as well as another that lets you manually define an animation sequence to play.
Once it is synced up, a simple software program is tasked with retrieving the necessary data from the web which it uses to reproduce real raindrops and clouds, simulate thunderstorms and lightning, as well as emit radiant sunshine. The LEDs change from red to blue to reflect things such as sunrise/sunset and storms, whereas the diffuser will fill the box with mist to match the level of cloud cover outside. For example, if it happens to be raining, the pump will pull water from the lower reservoir and drip it down from the Tempescope’s ceiling, while its embedded lights will emit a purplish hue.
What’s more, you can employ its accompanying app to operate three preset modes or use its SDK to create your own custom program. Meaning, you can set the weather to fit your mood because, after all, everyone loves reading on a rainy day. Want this ambient unit for your household? Head over to its Indiegogo campaign, where Kawamoto is currently seeking $398,000. The first batch of Tempescopes will ship in April 2016 — just in time for those spring showers!