About Us- PressureNet

/About Us- PressureNet

How The Smartphone Has Changed The Technology Playing Field

Within the everchanging world of technology we live in, we are surrounded by new innovations which can help change the world as we know it for the better. Here at Pressure net, we’re all about innovators and change which is why we thought we’d share some of this food for thought as to how far we’ve come in technological terms. More importantly, the smartphone.

Over the Past ten to twenty years phones have become so much more than a portable telephone. They are now a source of information, a camera, a video recorder, a voice recorder, flashlight etc the list simply goes on and on. A lot of newer smartphones being produced in recent years have more computing capability than a lot of desktop pcs did in the mid-2000s which is absolutely mind boggling.

The Capabilities and features present are often overlooked for many people in place of high specification memory and overall performance of the phone.

Many people fail to realise how useful their phone can be when it comes to its capabilities and how these can be fully utilised. Many phones now come as standard with excess of thirty different sensors which can detect, movement, locations , image and various other attributes. These features can turn each phone into a mini information centre, sending and receiving data which can be used in so many different ways. One such way which we are trying to popularise is the use of the barometer within a phone to help generate weather data by logging changes in atmosphere and when they occur

How We Are Helping To Change The Playing Field

We Aim to have people utilising technology to help create an intercontinental network of weather forecasting. We can achieve this through spreading awareness about significant weather events and also reminding people that their phones can contribute to a global community to help improve weather forecasting. Similar apps have seen recent surges in popularity and we believe this symbolises an important generational change in attitudes towards technology. As we progress further, we want to continue updating our network to optimise readings from across the world to produce the highest possible accuracy of forecasting. The use of data can have huge effects on so many different things. Data has revolutionised several areas such as clinical research trails where the development of the adam dataset has helped to push the boundaries of medical research whilst maintaining accurate data records. We believe we can do the same and have the drive to help change the weather forecasting world as we know it.

An example of an app from a different niche to us is Waze. Waze is a navigation app which has real time traffic reporting as well as navigational features. There are a number of features Waze has which we admire and may look to work towards or adapt in the future. For example, the ranking system depending on how many reports are logged by the user is an excellent way to encourage use of the app. Waze has enjoyed huge success in the last few years because there is a demand out there for crowd sourced apps. People want to be part of something bigger. This is why we want to ensure our application is successful so that people can contribute to accurate weather forecasting through the use of barometers on their phone.

Apps

We’re building innovative apps on top of the PressureNet SDK – and you can too! Here are some of the apps in development by us and other developers:

PRESSURENET

Our initial dedicated app to collect sensor data.

PANDEMIC

The next version of the fun pandemic simulator Pandemic will incorporate PressureNet.

The SDK

We’ve made it easy for Android developers to become a part of the PressureNet data collection network. The pressureNET SDK is an Android library project that enables simple atmosphere sensor data collection and transmission to researchers. Integrating the SDK into your app provides you with simple access to our data and weather APIs while automatically contributing additional atmosphere data to our network.

The API

Our data archive contains hundreds of millions of atmospheric pressure measurements and we’re growing our live data intake quickly. In order to enable collaboration and science research, this data is available through our PressureNet API.

PressureNet App FAQ

Does the pressure change depending on if I’m indoors or outdoors?

The great thing about atmospheric pressure is that it’s essentially the same inside and outside. While temperature and humidity are heavily affected by surrounding influences, pressure is basically the same at the same altitude. Of course, over a wide area the pressure is different, that’s precisely what we’re tracking.

Does altitude affect the pressure?

Altitude will dramatically affect the barometer. That’s why barometers are in some phones in the first place; for quick GPS altitude estimates. If you’re on the 25th floor of your office building, you’ll be feeding us data that’s about 10-15 mbars lower than the ground level data. The trend for that data, though, will be the same as it would be at ground level, so it’s still incredibly valuable. We’re working on various ways of cleaning the data server side to make it most accurate and useful.

How do I become a beta tester?

First, you’ll need to join our Google+ PressureNet community. Once a member, you can click on the “Get PressureNet Beta Releases” link located near the top right of the screen. If you’re already a member of our Google+ community, you can continue on from here.

How will this help weather forecasting?

Recent discoveries and advancements in mesoscale meteorology suggest that a high density of surface level atmospheric pressure data could be used to create significantly more accurate weather forecasts. We’re working with atmospheric science researchers at the University of Washington to collect the data and build the atmosphere models. Read more at Cliff Mass’ blog.

Which devices have a barometer?

Galaxy S3, S4, S5
Galaxy Nexus
Galaxy Note, 2, 3
Nexus 4, 5, 10
Xoom
RAZR MAXX HD
Xiaomi MI-2, MI-3
Droid Ultra
Moto X
HTC One (M8)
… and more arriving all the time!

Does the iPhone have a barometer?

The current models unfortunately don’t. Though, it’s rumoured that the iPhone 6 will have one!

Why do smartphones have barometers?

The barometers are added to the devices to speed up GPS location; the addition of altitude estimates gained from pressure readings to the already-estimated latitude and longitude makes it easier for the phone to get an accurate location lock.

Do I need a barometer device to get PressureNet?

Nope! Even if your phone can’t measure pressure, you can still view the submissions. You can also participate by reporting current weather conditions.

How does Current Conditions work?

Current Conditions automatically expire after two hours to keep weather reports relevant. You can choose how frequently you’re notified of incoming surrounding conditions. The options are: 10 minutes, an hour, or five hours.

How does PressureNet affect battery life?

General use of PressureNet does not significantly affect battery life. We offer a few settings (send data only when charging, toggle GPS, and submission frequency) to help you adjust in case you notice too much resource use. Please alert us if you find any bugs, especially battery-related ones by emailing contact@cumulonimbus.ca.

Jobs

Can you spot the holes in our team? We’re currently looking for the following positions to fill:

iOS Developer

We’re about to build the best and most innovative iOS weather app: we’ve built the PressureNet platform on Android and are integrating new weather models to create vastly higher-resolution weather forecasts, custom-tailored for our users. You’ll be in charge of creating our open source iOS PressureNet SDK which you’ll use to develop our weather apps for iPhones and iPads. You’ll write code to collect sensor data, visualize weather patterns, and innovate on how weather forecasts are delivered.

WRF Modeller

We’re looking for the best atmosphere modellers in the world. You’ll be in charge of our WRF data assimilation system and managing our WRF model runs and experiments. We’re collecting hundreds of millions of measurements of the atmosphere; help us examine this data and test our new weather forecasts.

Android Developer

Our PressureNet app has 15,000 users. Our SDK has a quickly growing developer community. You’ll be in charge of developing both our Android SDK and our Android apps. We’re using the PressureNet platform for sensor data collection combined with new weather models to create vastly higher-resolution, custom-tailored for our users. You’ll write code to collect sensor data, visualize weather patterns, and innovate on how weather forecasts are delivered.

MEDIA

RESEARCHERS