Capturing near real-time wind speed at inaccessible locations

Partners:

thewindop, IoTUK, CENSIS, The Data Lab and Informatics Ventures

Start date:

March 2016

Duration:

4 weeks

Project abstract

thewindop has designed a product to capture wind speed and other environmental data at inaccessible points of interest, such as beaches and islands. The solar powered device can send data to the cloud from anywhere in the world with mobile phone coverage

thewindop was one of five winners at the Scottish leg of IoTUK Boost, organised by Scottish Funding Council-backed CENSIS, The Data Lab, the University of Edinburgh’s Informatics Ventures and IoTUK. It is now undergoing a one-month period of incubation and mentoring, to refine the company’s business model and make it fully fundable.

Taking measurements every second, the device provides near real-time information on weather conditions. In addition to wind speed, it has the potential to provide readings for a range of other indicators including air quality and soil moisture content.

Andy Maginnis, co-founder of thewindop, said: “Too often we turned up at the beach to kite-surf only to find the wind was less than forecast or too gusty, meaning we couldn’t ride. What then started as a few chats on the beach and in the pub quickly evolved into a full-scale product.

“The result is the cAno device: a system sized to update data continuously every 15 minutes during a UK winter and send data at various rates, dependent on application. It can also respond to events detected on-board in real-time and users can set alerts through our website for their preferred weather conditions at their local beach.”

Business Gateway Fife helped thewindop fund a mini-production run of 20 cAno devices, with 10 now out in the field. So far they have been deployed at various locations across Scotland, including at the top of the Firth of Cromarty Port Authority, as well as further afield in Scarborough Beach, Western Australia and Brown Island, USA, sending back more than 15.5 million data points to date.

Julian Dale, co-founder of thewindop, commented: “Typically, weather stations are miles inland, the data often consists of a single data point and is lagged by up to 90 minutes. So it was a lottery whether the conditions on the beach were actually stable and safe enough to go out kiting.

“There’s also no Wi-Fi or power at prime locations for wind sports on remote beaches, just mobile coverage – that can make installing devices currently on the market an expensive proposition. The cAno solves both problems by accessing the mobile network and being affordable for groups of people, or even individuals, to purchase.”

thewindop is currently cultivating links with a variety of organisations to fully commercialise the product. cAno has huge potential applications in a number of market sectors, including environmental monitoring, tourism and sports.

Read more about thewindop at their website

Read thewindop press release

thewindop was one of 5 winners at the IoTUK Boost competition in February 2016

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