The Internet of things has promised us unprecedented efficiency and insight from our digital stuff. But there are some things (in the Internet of things) that a person will probably never need. The latest entrant in the latter category comes by way of Kickstarter: A weather forecaster for your fire escape.
To be fair, the BloomSky certainly looks cool. With a solar panel, five sensors, and a single camera placed in the center of its bulbous head, the device kind of resembles the robot love interest from Wall-E. And if you installed it on your roof, wall, or railing, as the Kickstarter campaign suggests, your neighbors might think twice about throwing loud weeknight parties near the home of a potential CIA agent. Then again, it’s a weather forecaster. For your fire escape.
So what’s the added value of installing your own personal, hyperlocal weather station near a window you could presumably, just, you know, open?
“State-of-the-art BloomSky sensors constantly track temperature, barometric pressure, humidity, and UV light exposure, and come equipped with an innovative rain sensor and 170-degree adjustable ultra-wide camera,” the marketing materials read. “Access hyperlocal, media-rich weather data from a network of mobile-enabled devices.”
All that sounds very state-of-the-art, and it should, for a retail price of $169. But couldn’t you also tell if it’s raining by looking at that app that comes with your iPhone, or . . . stick your head outside?
The nearly 600 backers who pledged a combined total of more than $96,000 to the Kickstarter project disagree. The BloomSky even exceeded its initial goal of $75,000. Now its creators want to stretch the device’s campaign to a goal of $100,000 in its remaining week.
Well, it’s their money. That said, when a developer invents a forecasting app that tells me when it’s okay to wear pants outside in the summer, I will be the first to donate.