It's always a pleasure to see Kickstarter projects that not only ship on time, but show a brilliant use of the sensors built into every iOS device. In the case of the Vaavud wind meter (US$49.99), the product uses the magnetic field sensor to pick up the fluctuations caused by the rotation of magnets driven by the wind's pressure on two small anemometer cups.
It's a clever design, as this means that the Vaavud contains no electronics at all. In fact, when I first opened the box and pulled out the Vaavud provided by BiteMyApple.co, I was surprised to see that the audio jack on the device that plugs into the iPhone's headphone minijack was made entirely of plastic. It was only after I read that the main purpose of the free Vaavud app was to translate those magnetic fluctuations into wind speed readings that the proverbial light went on.
So who would use a device like the Vaavud wind meter? To quote the App Store description, "If you are into sailing, windsurfing, kite surfing, kite boarding, land yachting, balloon flying, paragliding, hunting, kite flying, kayaking, drone flying, hiking, golf, biking, etc.. -- or if you are just plain curious about the weather around you, then Vaavud is for you!"
The app not only shows the gusts and lulls in wind during your measurement, but also calculates an average wind speed. The variations are captured on a blue trace on the iPhone or iPad screen, while the average appears in red. Numbers on the app display show the current, average, and maximum wind speed.
Vaavud can measure wind in the range of 2 to 25 m/s (4.47 to 55.9 MPH) with a resolution of .1 m/s (.22 MPH) and an accuracy of +/- 4 percent. Wind speed can be displayed in m/s, knots, miles per hour, or kilometers per hour. The app description notes that a future version will provide a measurement history and a zoomable map with plotted wind readings.
Another free app is available for those who want to share Vaavud wind data with people from around the world. Weendy bills itself as the "Wind Wave Weather Report and Forecast" app for those who kitesurf, windsurf, or surf.
And now, if you're one of those active or curious people for whom Vaavud was designed, you're going to have a chance to win one.
Here are the rules for the giveaway:
Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older.
To enter, fill out the form below completely and click or tap the Submit button.
The entry must be made before August 26, 2013 11:59PM Eastern Daylight Time.
You may enter only once.
One winner will be selected and will receive a Vaavud wind meter valued at $49.99