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Netatmo adds a Wind Gauge to its connected weather sensors

Netatmo expands its family of connected weather monitoring devices with a new Wind Gauge.

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BERLIN -- We liked Netatmo's connected weather station well enough when we reviewed it last June. It tracked local weather conditions on your phone with enough accuracy to be informative, especially for niche users. The company expanded a few months ago with a Rain Gauge accessory. Now it adds a Wind Gauge, an obvious, but useful extension to an effective product line.

The Wind Gauge will cost $99 in the US, and £99 in the UK when it launches in mid-October. You need to already own a Netatmo Weather Station to use it, since the Wind Gauge feeds its data directly back to the Weather Station, which in turn will show you the wind data through an updated version of its existing app.

Yes, $99 is expensive for a wind gauge, not counting the extra $150 you'll need to have spent for the Weather Station. Even very nice, non-connected wind gauges are available for less. This is one of the few (only?) units that transmits data to your phone, though. It also features a handy graphing utility within the Netatmo weather app that tracks wind behavior over time.

Netatmo Wind Gauge has no moving parts, instead relying on four sensors that measure wind speed and directionality. The company says the gauge is accurate to around 0.5 km/hour (about 0.3 mph) in winds under 100 km/hour (62 mph). Accuracy drops to plus-or-minus 2km/hour (1.2 mph) at faster speeds, and it becomes too inaccurate to be useful in gusts over 160 km/hour (99 mph). Any hurricane over category 1 will render the Wind Gauge useless. Sorry, storm chasers.

You'll also find some limits if you want to use the Wind Gauge in extreme temperatures. At an unspecified "normal" range of temperatures, per the company, the AA batteries will last between 1.5 and 2 years. At extremes of cold, the battery life drops to around one year.

As with other Netatmo products, the Wind Gauge will work with both Android and iOS devices. The company says updated versions of its app for both operating systems will be live when it ships in October.

For the rest of the latest tech news from Europe, check out the rest of CNET's IFA 2015 coverage.

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