Armchair meteorology has just gone to a whole new level with the Netatmo Weather Station. Its two modules, one for outdoor and the other for indoor, are capable of monitoring carbon dioxide, temperature, humidity and even noise levels. You will be able to monitor all of this from your mobile, tablet or computer thanks to its Wi-Fi connection.
If you are a hardcore hobbyist or longtime weather geek, you’re probably interested but the average consumer is likely content with one of the many free weather apps out there. If, however you need to measure or maintain the temperature of a cellar or greenhouse then the Netatmo will be extremely useful.
Both the modules are pretty minimal aluminium cylinders packed with sensors. The indoor module is slightly larger at 6 inches as opposed to the 4-inch outdoor module and there are no buttons or displays on either of them. All the graphic and sensory output is delivered to the app.
On the back of the indoor module you’ll find a micro USB port so you can power it from the mains and the outdoor module runs off 2x AAA batteries which it is claimed will last 2 years.
The setup is quite simple, you’ll first plugin the indoor module and then insert batteries into the outdoor module. Then will the app for iOS or Android or access the Netatmo website directly for all your output.
Once you have accessed your Wi-Fi the vertical slit on the indoor module will turn green which means the device is synced. Unfortunately, the LED light does little else and is not configurable to for example flicker or change colour if certain conditions are met.
Once the device is synched and information is returned to the app on your phone, tablet or PC you are presented with a ton of information but not much about it. I found that there were 450 parts per million ppm worth of CO2 circulating in my living room and that the noise levels were quite low at 52 decibels but not much else. “So now what?”
As time goes on things become a little clearer as the horizontal view on your phone or tablet will expose a graph mode where you can track changes over time.
The Netatmo app also offers full 7 day forecasts by MeteoGroup and aside from the basic day by day summary, you can look at specific temperature projections and rainfall amounts. These features can be found in most free apps but it also makes sense for Netatmo to include it in theirs.
There is a huge amount of information that is crammed into a small space in the case of the smartphone app which makes for a cluttered presentation so a lot of swiping and pinching is required in this format. Having said this the bigger the device screen gets the better the output and use ability of the app.