The weather app that tells you if it’s going to rain in your street
- The ‘weather of things’ may provide faster and more accurate forecasts
- ClimaCell released an app that turns phones, cell towers, and more into sensors
- With the technology, it says it can give minute-by-minute weather updates
- It’s technology is also used by JetBlue, Delta, and the New England Patriots
A new app gives users minute-by-minute updates for the weather happening right outside their doors by turning almost any device into a sensor.
The Boston-based startup, ClimaCell says ‘hyperlocal’ weather updates — which are now available for locations in 50 countries around the world — utilize ‘non-traditional’ sensors to give more accurate forecasts.
Those sensors include devices many come in contact with every day, including cell-phones, towers, connected cars, street cameras, from which the company can glean real-time measurements of temperature precipitation and more.
Using a proprietary technology, ClimaCell says it can turn phones, cars, and more into the ‘weather of things’
WHAT IS THE ‘WEATHER OF THINGS’?
A new weather modeling service, ClimaCell says it uses the ‘weather of things’ technology to give minute-by-minute forecasts.
The method turns mobile devices, cell towers, connected cars, and other visual and radio sensors into a web of weather-predicting machines.
Data is then crunched and turned into models which are available for this first time via a consumer-facing app on iOS and soon, Android.
According to the company, forecasts through its app are 60 percent more accurate than those of existing government models.
The company then uses its own algorithm to develop its own model based on this data and then packages it in an app that offers users up-to-date notifications on the local forecast.
According to the company, forecasts through its app, which was released this week on iOS, are 60 percent more accurate than those of existing providers such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
ClimaCell says its ‘weather of things’ style forecast marks a major improvement over other services of its ilk since forecasts don’t rely on government models and data.
Instead, its trove of millions of data points are used to predict weather between a six-hour to six-day period and are accurate up to the minute.
Government forecasts, like the high-resolution rapid refresh model, or HRRR, are updated hourly at best, notes a report in The Washington Post.
ClimaCell also seems to have convinced several large companies of its ability to predict weather faster and more accurately than peers, securing partnerships with U.S. airlines, Delta, JetBlue and United, as well as NFL teams like the New England Patriots.
JetBlue notably was impressed enough with technology to go from just a customer to an investor, helping ClimaCell accrue a formidable $75 million in funding.
While, ClimaCell has convinced those in the private sector, some meteorologists say its not clear whether their technique can be verified as the definitive next-generation technology.
ClimaCell has gained traction in the private sector, but its unclear whether or no its new approach can withstand the test of time according to some meteorologists
Shawn Milrad, a professor of meteorology at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, told The Washington Post that ClimaCell is ‘promising’ but a better sampling is needed before it can be considered the end of classical weather modeling.
The release of its app this week marks the first time ClimaCell has offered a consumer product, with previous iterations geared more toward professional applications.
While the current version if only available to iOS users, the company said it plans to release an Android version in September according to The Washington Post.