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Pressure Net – let your phone improve the world’s weather forecasts [Freeware]


Nowadays many of the latest smartphones come with an interesting new feature that few people know about. Embedded inside the handsets of products from companies like Samsung and Motorola are barometers, small devices which register atmospheric pressure readings. Why? Well according to the guys at Google, they are there to help your phone get a quicker GPS fix. By measuring latitude, longitude and altitude (via the barometer) the satellites can lock on to your location faster, which makes for a better user experience. Fascinating, eh?

Now an enterprising bunch of developers have come up with another cool use for this technology, and it sounds like it could really deliver some serious value over time.

Pressure Net is a global network of user-contributed atmospheric pressure readings, delivered automatically from compatible handsets across the world. The idea is that by taking these readings and overlaying them on a standard Google map, it should be possible to create a visual image of the live pressure fronts which make up an crucial part of weather patterns in different areas.


The open source project is also offering the data to any interested parties who may want to collaborate on other uses of the technology, so who knows, we may see lots of various apps develop from this initiative over time.

The idea of a crowdsourced weather forecasting service sounds pretty amazing to us anyway, and anything which can improve the chances of our not getting wet gets a big fat thumbs up. Isn’t it amazing what these phones can do nowadays?

Nigel is the managing editor of the Red Ferret, as well as a freelance columnist for the Sunday Times newspaper in London. Loves tech and fancies himself as a bit of a futurist, but then don’t we all?

Nigel – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.

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