| 7.4°C Dublin

Always take the weather with you

It takes a certain type of person to hanker after a personal weather station. Call them a geek, call them an obsessive that they crave so much information about something so mundane.

After all, why not just glance out the window? Or check in with the inevitably depressing forecasts on TV and radio?

But the obsessive doesn't want to know the weather 20km away at the nearest measuring station – he (it's nearly always a bloke, admittedly) demands to be kept informed of the conditions right in his own back yard, or even inside his house.

Of course, the uber-geek will settle for nothing less than a web-connected gadget – a niche handily filled by the new Netatmo Urban Weather Station.

Cribbing cues from Apple's minimalist school of design, the Netatmo comprises two small silver cylinders, one indoor requiring a plug and one outdoor that uses batteries. The pair connect over your home WiFi and monitor a host of stats including temperature, humidity and barometric pressure.

But with no display of its own, the Netatmo relies on an iPhone/iPad or Android app to serve up its feast of figures – however, the result is an attractive and deep representation of the conditions at your home over several days.

Being internet-connected means you don't even need to be chez vous to check out the stats because the app works just as happily with internet connectivity away from home as it does when you're hooked into your own WiFi.

For now, Netatmo merely feeds the appetite of the weather nerd who likes to track data over time. The company has plans to tie the weather station into automation services such as IFTTT.com – so you could, for instance, turn on your heating if the temperature at home falls below zero.

But until then – with the Netatmo costing €170 – it makes for a geek's expensive hobby.


Irish Independent