Fed up of inaccurate weather readings spoiling your day? Now, a new app called WeatherSignal could turn you phone into a weather station to fix this problem.
Weather is such a big factor in our day to day that nearly our entire lives are planned around it. Snow stops work for days on end, while rain causes floods that cause city and sometimes nationwide power outages, putting operations at a halt. And then there are the helpful outcomes of sunshine and warm weather that lead us to plan days out and fun things to do so it’s not wonder then that phones come pre-packaged with weather apps. But what if the readings are inaccurate? Luckily, WeatherSignal is a new app that makes weather stations out of phones with some simple technology, ensuring that you’ll never be blindsided by the weather again.
It’s a little known fact that built into the batteries of Android compatible phones, is a temperature sensor. The WeatherSignal app takes advantage of this by comparing the battery’s normal temperature to its current temperature, allowing it to ‘infer’ the temperature surrounding the phone. However, as you might expect, there are other factors other than the outside temperature that can control how much heat a battery is producing such as how much energy it’s using, so, as to minimise error, WeatherSignal crowdsources an average temperature for your location from creating an average of other people using the app. WeatherSignal say that in results for six major cities, the temperature was accurate to within 2.7 degrees, which is a pretty impressive margin of error.
The only downside to WeatherSignal is that while it gathers information from Android compatible smartphones, the Apple iPhone does not have access to a battery temp sensor. As a result, iPhone users are only able to see readings on the app as opposed to providing them, meaning that a percentage of potential data providers is lost, a problem considering that WeatherSignal needs a large amount of users in order for it to function well.
While there are some obvious issues that need to be worked out (namely, the amount of people who use it), WeatherSignal is an incredibly smart app with a massive amount of potential, so we’ll keep you posted once we know more.