A piece of hardware containing no electronics, along with its accompanying smartphone app, could help the world better harness the power of wind.
After running a successful fund raising campaign on Kickstarter last year, Danish startup Vaavud has recently closed its seed funding round. Angel investors helped this company to access $375K which will be used for the further development of the eponymous smartphone wind meter.
As mentioned before, Vaavud does not contain any electronics. So how in the world does this interact with a smartphone? Well, after connecting it to the headphone jack, the wind meter will start communicating with your smartphone via soundwaves. Vaavud’s app further interprets these soundwaves and displays the wind speed measurement on the smartphone’s screen. All in all, everything’s peachy till now, but who could ever need a wind meter for their phone? Unless you’re planning to launch kites or play badminton, such a smartphone accessory doesn’t have much use for the common man. However, if you want to find the best placement for a wind farm or to determine whether the distribution of pesticides for crops is safe or not, knowing the speed of the wind is vital.
In this context, Vaavud has already established some important partnerships with companies from the agriculture industry. Swedish agricultural coop Lantmännen Maskin AB is already collaborating with the Danish startup in an attempt to make the distribution of pesticides for crops a lot safer. Of course, in Sweden, this is imposed by laws and regulations, and given the importance of this topic, I dare say that this approach should be taken by more countries from all over the world.
Vaavud CEO Thomas Helms explained that up to 4,000 measurements are made weekly using the smartphone wind meter developed by his company. Helms seemed very optimistic, since he pointed out that as the spring has started in the Northern Hemisphere, where Vaavud is popular, this number will continue to grow dramatically.
A PhD in Computer Science will help Vaavud develop a companion app for Android, thus expanding their reach even further. At the same time, the specialist will help the company improve their algorithms for indoor readings, as there might be a lot of people wanting to test the wind meter by blowing air into it.