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Gadgets bloomsky

Published on October 3rd, 2015 | by Greg

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BloomSky: Weather In The Palm Of Your Hand

We’re in the process of battening down the hatches- or what pass for hatches in New York City- as we get hit by our first seasonal storm, Joaquin. Most of us saw it coming in advance, and though that doesn’t stop the rain from ruining yet another umbrella, it does help make sure we have our umbrellas ready! Armchair weather forecasting hasn’t yet reached the level of fantasy football or other prediction markets- we aren’t betting on heat waves just yet. But we’ll be ready!

The BloomSky Solar Powered Weather Station Kit With Camera is one of the most sophisticated personal home weather stations that we’ve seen. Packed with sensors, it can measure everything from humidity and temperature to pressure and even UV light (though, perhaps oddly, not wind). Even cooler, the nifty camera embedded inside captures not only any key images (during sudden changes, it can send them to you) but also records a time-lapse video of the sky each day. These are really cool and very unique, and you can see some great examples online. Plus, it’s great-looking and even friendly, a durable and modern sphere.

Sure, not everyone needs one of these, or even has space- but gardeners can get an instant report on rainfall or you can decide what to wear based on your microclimate rather than some vague nearby indicators. The solar panel means you mostly won’t have to worry about the unit once setup, and they have a great community with plenty of passionate users. We tested using the latest (and recently released) version of the app, which appears to have fixed a great many issues. Available for both iOS and Android, the app itself ran nicely, though setup can still be a bit tricky and other devices (laptops, desktops) are out of luck. Getting your BloomSky running involves connecting to a router, and making sure that your signal reaches outside can be tough. The solar panel is heavy, and needs to be angled appropriately for best results.

All in all, the BloomSky is definitely one of the best weather stations that we’ve seen, better looking and easier to use than hobbyist models and with the cool fisheye camera functions you’ll quickly become addicted to each day. The resolution could be better, but it’s sufficient, and you’ll like the network of other units online for you to check out. The brain (and eyes, and ears) of the kit is the Outdoor Weather Station unit which retails for $169. The associated solar panel and mounting equipment can be purchased separately, though the entire setup as tested is available online and in stores for around $269. And worth it for any budding meteorologist or enthusiasts.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.



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