I See Rain in Your Future

Who wouldn’t like to have a crystal ball? Unfortunately, our computers aren’t very good at predicting the future. However they do occasionally get the weather correct, so [Jenny Hanell] built a crystal ball to show the weather forecast. She calls it “Sphaera” and you can see a video of it in operation below.

The user interface is entertaining, and relies on 5 photoresistors. The Raspberry Pi inside detects when you cover one of them up, and interprets that as a command. A piece of plastic allows for projection inside the sphere from an LCD display. [Jenny] calls that a hologram although technically it isn’t a true hologram, of course.

We wish that the sphere was self-contained, but the electronics are in a box underneath. We have to wonder though, whether you could seal a Pi Zero with some batteries and a wireless charging arrangement to make the whole thing a true crystal ball. When it comes to materials, [Jenny] mentions cellplast. As far as we can tell, that’s what we’d call foam. In this application, you could probably use nearly anything from styrofoam to floral foam to cellular plastic foam.

The weather data meanwhile comes from OpenWeatherMap’s API, which of course it ought to be straightforward to replace with another service.

We’d love to see someone merge this project with our favorite moose. With Kinect on its way out, we suppose it is too late to use this crystal ball.

6 thoughts on “I See Rain in Your Future

      1. Ooh, yeah – you could monitor past weather, soil conditions, and the day’s expected weather based on current conditions. At 7AM, it could come up with a report of what nutrients and how much water you should leave the shed with.

        Still, I shouldn’t knock weather API projects; they’re a great first foray into something like the ESP8266, and this one does have a slick presentation.

  1. The project really looks cool. I *have* to nitpick about the article, of course:

    > LCD display

    … really? STILL?

    … and I have a suggestion for improving the weather prediction accuracy: Just paint “rainy” on the sphere. No need for changes, corrections or what – it will probably be correct more often than if it relies on “scientific” (haha) weather predictions.

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