Weather Balls

Weather Ball
Team Name: 
Weather Ball

The Weather Ball is an Internet connected light that alerts the user to upcoming weather conditions from the Bureau of Meteorology. The light can sit on a desk and alert the user by changing color, alternating color, and flashing. This makes it easy at a glance to see when weather conditions are changing.

It can be customized by the user so they can specify the types of weather conditons they are alerted to. These can include serve weather conditons such as flooding, storms, and hail. Or day to day alerts such as surf conditions. For example if a storm is forecasted the device flashes white and blue quickly. This can be considered an early warning system for serve weather conditions.

There's a limited amount of information you can convey with colored light, however the device is designed as an indicator to encourage the user to visit the Bureau of Meteorolog website for more information. The advantage this has over an app is users often don't check the daily forecasts and don't want constant alerts being pushed to their device, this is an alternative that can be seen at a glance.

The hardware itself was developed over the weekend, the ball was a LED Poi which we modified, we drilled a hole in for a power cable and inside placed an RGB LED attached to an ESP8266 wifi chip (similar to an arduino). The deivce connects to your local wifi network so it can retireve the information from the Bureau of Meteorolog.

The motivation behind the project comes from developing many apps and websites at past "hack events" and wanting to create something different. IoT is very fashionable right now and creating a device I would use on a daily basis was very appealing.

Region: 
Used Datasets: 
Dataset Name: 
Bureau of Meteorology
Publishing Organisation/Agency: 
Bureau of Meteorology
Jurisdiction of Data: 
Australian Government
How did you use this data in your entry?: 
We retrieve weather conditions from the Bureau of Meteorology in real-time allowing us to alert the user to these changes in weather. The user can then select which weather conditions they want to be alerted to and customise the colours of the light when these conditions occur. The Bureau of Meteorology reports on a large range of weather conditions, these include: - Storms - High winds - High UV Index - Flood warnings - Damaging Wind (>34 knots) - Destructive Wind (>48 knots) - Flash Flooding - Large Hail - Tornado - High Tide - Very Heavy Surf - Blizzard - Slippery roads due to oil and exhaust build-up - Icing of roads due to frost or freezing rain - Snowfalls that causing blockages or dangerous driving conditions, - Inundation of roadways by flood waters, - Reduced visibility due to heavy rain or showers - Reduced visibility due to fog - Reduced visibility due to dust - Reduced visibility due to smoke - Lightning strikes - Damaging Surf
Event Location: 
Sunshine Coast