Project image
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$1,083
pledged of $6,500pledged of $6,500 goal
18
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sat, June 13 2015 7:18 PM UTC +00:00
$1,083
pledged of $6,500pledged of $6,500 goal
18
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sat, June 13 2015 7:18 PM UTC +00:00

About

Introducing the Weather Beacon.

Are you always interested in knowing the weather? Ever forget when the first days of summer, fall, winter or spring are? Are you the type to lookup the shortest and longer days of the year? If so, the Weather Beacon is for you. It provides current weather by changing color.

The Weather Beacon also tells you about the conditions you can’t see like tornado alerts, windy days, oppressive temperatures or if it’s very cold. Maybe you’re an avid beach goer and want to know if high tide has arrived. No problem, the Weather Beacon alerts you though a distinct visual flashing and musical melody from the built in speaker. Or, maybe you’re the astronomical type and want to know when sunset, sunrise, first day of a season, or if it’s a full moon, again you’re covered. 

The Weather Beacon can also be a fun way to teach about the seasons, tides, the moon and other weather related topics.

How the Weather Beacon Works:

The Weather Beacon works by communicating with your smart phone through a Bluetooth BLE 4.0 compliant module. The Weather Beacon pairs with your smart phone allowing for setup, configuration and other information to be passed from your phone to the Weather Beacon. In addition to changing colors based on changing weather conditions, the Weather Beacon will also illuminate when your smart phone receives phone notifications. This feature is great if you have left your phone in another room and someone calls or texts you. You will see the change in color from the Weather Beacon and know someone is trying to contact you.  

Hardware:

  • Long Range Bluetooth 4.0
  • 2 Tri-Color LEDs 
  • Piezo Electric Speaker 
  • White translucent Lighthouse Enclosure
  • 3 ft Micro USB cable

Features:

  • Color changes based on weather
  • Smartphone notification
  • Sound Notification
  • Dimming and Sound Control

Weather Beacon Setup:

Setup of the Weather Beacon is easy!

1. Obtain a "Key ID" from the associated web service
2. Download the Weather Beacon app
3. Paste the "Key ID" in the correct field within the app
4. Select your weather location 
5. Power on the Weather Beacon
6. Pair with the Weather Beacon using the Weather Beacon app
7. Enjoy

 Weather Beacon Key:

 Development Stage:

The Weather Beacon started as a fun visual aid for teaching our children about weather, the seasons and astronomical changes. Everyone that comes over to the house loves seeing the lighthouse and is amazed when it starts blinking and playing sounds.

The first design included a short range Bluetooth BLE 4.0 module and one round Red/Green/BLUE (RGB) LED. The module worked but the color was not prominent and the range was limited. The second design included 2 flat RGB LED’s and a long rang Bluetooth module. This design was superior allowing for much longer range connections, better light mixing and brighter visual effects.
The enclosure also went through multiple design cycles. The enclosure started out as a large cone with a snap in base. This was effective but not very visually appealing. The second enclosure included a lower profile cone and flatter top. Again, not very visually appealing and frankly boring. The final design, a lighthouse, was recommended by a family friend who thought a structure that represents the outside and an ocean setting might tie nicely with the concept.
 The enclosures as seen in this picture were printed from a 3D printer using white PLA.

Production and Funding:

The majority of funding raised will be used to manufacture (in quantity) the Weather Beacon. We have found manufacturing partners for the hardware and currently seeking one for the Lighthouse enclosure, that will produce well-made aesthetic product.  

Remaining funds will be used to complete the iphone App, Android App, and firmware. The graphic below outline the current status of the Weather Beacon design and all associated software.

We plan to deliver the Weather Beacon by the middle of October 2015. The following tables outline the production schedule and expected delivery dates.

Future Add On's:

If this Kickstarter campaign proves successful a Raspberry Pie development interface description and example code will be provided that will allow the Raspberry Pie to interface with the Weather Beacon. This interface will require a Raspberry Pie, WiFi and Bluetooth BLE 4.0 compatible device. The interface will poll for weather changes and automatically update the Weather Beacon in lieu of a smartphone.

Risks and challenges

The highest risk, as we see it, is the manufacturing of the lighthouse enclosure. This is an area, in which, the group has the least experience. We are currently looking for a manufacturing partner to produce a high quality, cost effective enclosure that will make this project a success.

Although we are confident we can find a partner, we feel this risk is mitigated by the fact we can 3d print the enclosure if necessary.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    If you aren't interested in getting a Weather Beacon, but want to contribute to the project, this is a great option. Thank you!

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    1 backer
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    EARLY BIRD (Limited to 25) - You'll receive one Weather Beacon shipped. The app can be downloaded from iTunes or the Google Play Store for free.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 13 backers
    $

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    Office Cubical: You'll receive one Weather Beacon shipped. The app can be downloaded from iTunes or the Google Play Store for free.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $120 or more About $120

    Work and Home Office: Why only get one when you can get two Weather Beacons? Share the fun at your home and work office. You'll receive two Weather Beacon shipped. The app can be downloaded from iTunes or the Google Play Store for free.

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    2 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $220 or more About $220

    Office Party: Spread the fun and get four Weather Beacons. Keep them all or give them as gifts! You'll receive four Weather Beacons shipped. The app can be downloaded from iTunes or the Google Play Store for free.

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    0 backers
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Funding period

- (45 days)