The Meteoboard Maps Weather Conditions to Colors in an Attractive Laser-Cut Plywood Desk Piece

Encoding data retrieved from the web as colors, the Meteoboard aims to offer at-a-glance information on current and future weather.

Pseudonymous maker "sn0oz" has built a weather station dashboard with a difference: it uses an LED matrix to map conditions to colored squares, hidden when the machine is off behind a thin layer plywood.

"Meteoboard is a LED matrix displaying weather forecast with color mapping to weather condition or temperature values," sn0oz explains. "For example, sunny weather is obviously yellow and rain condition is represented with three shades of blue. With a bit of practice it allows an instant knowledge of weather forecast, on a decorative object."

The wooden desk accessory uses 45 RGB LEDs in a 9Γ—5 matrix, starting with the longest-range weather predictions at the top and drilling down into shorter time periods at the bottom. The first two rows represent the weather conditions and average temperature for the morning and afternoon today and tomorrow, then daily forecasts for the next five days. Beneath that, the same information is shown for the current time and the next eight hours β€” though using colors to represent temperature change from current, rather than absolute temperature.

The bottom row, meanwhile, displays either the rain or wind conditions for the current time and five, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, and 60 minutes into the future β€” letting you know if it's a good idea to go outside with or without an umbrella. Overall, 12 weather conditions are supported: sun, partial cloud, cloud, light, moderate, and heavy rain, wind, strong wind, storm, light snow, snow, and frost.

Elsewhere in the laser-cut housing are four buttons, one to change the city for which forecasts are received, one to change the animation styles, and one to change the brightness of the LEDs β€” set automatically via an ambient light sensor, with a passive infrared sensor turning them off when nobody's in the room. Everything is controlled via an Espressif ESP32 microcontroller, with a Wi-Fi connection for weather forecast retrieval.

The project is detailed on sn0oz' GitHub repository, but while the hardware components have been uploaded the maker says the software "needs [a] clean-up" before being publicly released.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire:
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