A Japanese startup is raising funds through Indiegogo for Tempescope, a sleek-looking device that will fetch the weather forecast from your smartphone and recreate rain, lightning, fog and sunshine inside a clear plastic box sitting in your living room. The idea for the Tempescope first came to its inventor Ken Kawamoto after returning from a holiday in the Pacific Northwest. Wishing to take the skies back home with him, he created a prototype (out of shampoo bottles, a fan, LEDs and a mist diffuser) that could physically reproduce weather conditions in a confined space.
Kawamoto's prototype soon evolved into an open source version including step-by-step building instructions that the inventor shared with DIY enthusiasts. But since he says only a few were able to build their own successfully, Kawamoto is now turning to crowdfunding to make the Tempescope more accessible for the rest of us, while preserving the original DIY and open source spirit of the project.
In its current version, the Tempescope can recreate sunshine, rain, lightning and fog (snow could be added in a future version, but that would be years away). Syncing via Bluetooth to your Android or iOS smartphone, this clean-looking device will fetch the local weather forecast and display it in your home.
Additional modes of operation will allow users to synchronize the weather displayed to that of any location on Earth, and a "manual mode" for setting the mood.
To retain the DIY spirit of the Temposcope (and, says Kawamoto, cut manufacturing costs in half) the device will be shipped partially disassembled, so users will need to "read a very simple manual, connect a few wires together and screw together three or four components" before they can put it to work. In a similar vein, the device will also come with a software development kit, allowing tinkerers to create their own apps for added customization.
Kawamoto says the Temposcope will be obtaining wireless certification for Japan, which will automatically make the device legal to use in the US, Canada and the EU. Certification for Australia would have to be obtained separately – the creators are considering it, but have made no promise in this regard.
The device is reportedly at the working prototype stage and, barring delays due to production issues or wireless certification, deliveries are expected to begin in April 2016. Pledges for the Tempescope can be made from its Indiegogo campaign page and start at US$199 (up to $249 for a laser-engraved version), VAT and shipping not included.
You can watch the crowdfunding video below.