Weather-centric startup BloomSky plans to track even more of your hyperlocal climate data with its new kit, the $249 BloomSky Plus. The BloomSky Plus bundle consists of two new gadgets, the Sky2 and Storm, which combined should be capable of sensing local weather conditions. Solar-powered, the setup uses Bluetooth and Wi-Fi wireless radios to send the info it captures to home networks, cloud-based servers and ultimately a companion mobile app,
At the heart of the BloomSky Plus package is the Sky2, a weather station and camera system bristling with sensors that measure everything from temperature and humidity to barometric pressure. An orb about the size of a grapefruit, the Sky2's body has a series of moisture sensors to detect rain events as they happen.
Fans of the original BloomSky device, the Sky, which shipped to customers in spring 2015, will find this latest station extremely similar. In fact, BloomSky says the Sky and Sky2 products are almost physically identical, with the primary difference being the Sky2's integrated Bluetooth LTE radio. According to BloomSky the added component is meant to lean on smartphones and tablets to aid the initial configuration of the weather station and link to your home network with fewer hiccups. Hopefully this will also mean less climbing on ladders to tap the Sky2's buttons if you place the machine on a lofty perch.
In addition to promising smoother deployments, the Sky2 will perform the same tricks as its predecessor, the most notable made possible by its onboard HD camera (1,920x1,072 pixels). During daytime hours the gizmo snaps still pictures every 3 minutes, which it them stitches together into short motion clips for your viewing pleasure.
Capture the storm
The more interesting part of the BloomSky Plus bundle is the Storm device. Tucked away inside the Storm is an anemometer designed to measure wind speed along with a weather vane for detecting wind direction from eight compass points. The Storm has a tipping-cup rain collector as well that provides an unlimited range for assessing rainfall in 0.2mm increments.
The Storm, like the first Sky device, has a UV light sensor, and it's equipped with its own solar panel. Without solar power, BloomSky claims the Storm's 3.7-volt (500-mAh) rechargeable battery has one week of staying power with a full charge.
Your smart home's eyes in the sky
The BloomSky Plus is no ordinary weather station that's walled off from the growing universe of internet-connected objects and appliances either. BloomSky pledges that both the Sky2 and Storm will support IFTTT integration like the current Sky device. The company also claims the weather station is ready to mesh with other smart-home platforms such as Nest and SmartThings, though as of yet neither has listed BloomSky as an official partner.
BloomSky plans to launch the Sky2 and Storm along with the BloomSky Plus ($249) combo on Kickstarter July 19, and the earliest Storm units ($99) are supposed to ship to customers in late October. The same October goal applies to BloomSky Plus kits, while the Sky2 bundle ($199 including its solar panel) could arrive as soon as August. BloomSky says the products will ship globally, though prices haven't been provided. Converted, the Storm's price would be about £75 or AU$130, while the BloomSky Plus bundle would be about £190 or AU$330.