You know that the world of smartphone accessories is huge when there are multiple entries in a product category that probably isn't that big. That's the case with wind meters for the iPhone; just last August we looked at the Vavuud wind meter, and now there's another iPhone-centric anemometer on the market. The WeatherFlow Wind Meter (US$34.95) is a snazzy-looking and highly-accurate wind meter that links with an iPhone app, allowing you to capture and share wind speed and other data.
Who would use a device like this? Well, just about anyone who spends a lot of time engaging in outdoor activities would find it useful to know exactly how fast the wind is blowing. Whether you're a sailing enthusiast, a kite flyer, a skydiver, a pilot, a hiker, a fireman, or just someone who wants to know how fast the wind's blowing, the WeatherFlow Wind Meter can do the job for you.
Using the wind meter is quite simple. You just download and install the free companion WeatherFlow Wind Meter app, plug the wind meter into your iPhone's headphone port, and then get ready to take some readings. The app requires access to your iPhone's microphone and uses location services to determine your present location.
Once you've made a few settings, including the primary activity you're involved with, speed units, direction display, magnetic declination, and the maximum sample period, you're ready to roll. You just point into the wind holding your iPhone in front of you, tap the start button, and you're greeted with the wind velocity, direction, and the number of seconds left in the reading. Should you decide to share the information, it can be sent to Twitter or Facebook as well as through email or SMS.
Between the Vavuud and the WeatherFlow, I'm more impressed with the latter. The quality of construction seems better, the "propeller" that is used to measure wind velocity is encased and is less easily damaged, and even the application is more usable.
The WeatherFlow Wind Meter can register wind from 2 miles per hour up to 125 miles per hour. The design was calibrated at the University of Florida's Aerospace Engineering Department, and is accurate to the larger of +/-0.5% of the reading or 0.2 mph at up to 15° off-axis. That means that you don't need to hold it directly into the wind to get an accurate reading.
The WeatherFlow Wind Meter will soon be compatible with the iWindsurf, Fishweather, Sailflow, WindAlert, and iKiteSurf applications, so you won't have to give up using your favorite app in order to use the device.