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.