If you’re in Europe at the moment, then you’ll know it’s cold outside—transport systems are in meltdown, rivers are freezing over, and no one wants to go anywhere. Blame the Arctic, but it looks like this cold spell is going to be here for a little while longer.
In general, we all know that when weather forecasters start putting a minus sign in front of numbers, it’s ear-numbing weather, but you might not be able to gauge exactly how hot or cold it is. So wouldn’t it be nice to rely, not on your interpretation of abstract numbers, but on your sense of touch? Design student Robb Godshaw seems to think so, and he’s created a haptic weather forecaster called the Cryoscope.
By touching it you’ll know what the weather outside is like (without having to go through the physically demanding and laborious task of stepping out your front door). But it’s not just for outside your front door. If you want to know what it’s like at your holiday destination, ditch the thermostat and plug this baby in, it’ll feel as warm or cold as whatever location you desire.
The unit fetches weather data from the internet, and translates it to the cube physically, pumping heat in or out of the cube.
The neutral state of the cube is about 85°F(30°C), which is perceived as neutral by the skin. The cube is then adjusted by the number of degrees that forecast differs from typical room temperature (73°F/23°C).
The Cryoscope is only at the concept stage at the moment but on his site Godshaw says that “as far as commercialization, the prospect is being seriously considered.” So we’ll have to wait and see if we can all have one in our homes.
While you may think it seems pointless, the aim is to convey the temperature in a way that’s more immediately obvious to us humans than a bunch of numbers. It seems like it’s part of a new wave of thinking about products, like BERG’s Little Printer, that seek to physicalize the intangible data we come across in our informationally overwhelmed lives.
So anyway, would you buy one?