by Richard Crockett
Many of us have tried handheld anemometers over the years. I have, and often not with particularly good results, so my interest was piqued when I saw a news release about a smartphone anemometer which works with iPhone, iPad and Android smartphones.
Once you have the anemometer you need to download the free Vaavud wind app. This app will give you all your basic measurement needs including graph, history and a live map.
The unit has two cups instead of three in order to make it truly pocket friendly. Three cups would make it vulnerable to damage as a portable unit. The one-piece, moulded rotor and the low friction Teflon bearing makes the Vaavud wind meter extremely durable. If sand or dirt gets inside the meter it can easily be cleaned out with water.
The Vaavud app gives you a clear overview of average, actual and maximum wind speed, as well as a real time graph – in fact the first real time graph on a hand held anemometer! And you can scroll and pinch-zoom on the graph, if you want to take a closer look at something.
The unit of measure can be changed on the fly by simply tapping the screen. Available units are in m/s, Kmh, Mph, Kts and Bft.
I have only ‘played’ with it and shown it to a few friends as unfortunately it arrived as this feature was being written. But I was impressed by its ruggedness and the ease of use as well as the measurement options one has. I can see the app being upgraded regularly as more features are added. It also comes in a natty soft padded pouch for storage.
The Vaavud wind meter works with all iPhones from 4 onwards, and all iPads from 2 onwards, running on iOS 6 or 7. For Android phones it currently works with Samsung Galaxy S2, S3 and S4.
The unit has been nominated for a DAME 2013 award in the Marine electronics & Marine-related software category. It’s that impressive.
If you are the type who likes to know exactly what the wind speed is at any time, this is for you.