A Crowdsourced Weather App Might Put Your Local Meteorologist Out of a Job
Sunshine claims to be far more accurate than any other weather app.
Just when you didn’t need another fucking weather app, an app called Sunshine claims to offer weather reports that are three times more accurate than what we’re accustomed to.
Conventional weather apps generally work the same way, pulling in data sets from governmental organizations and weather services. Sunshine turns this paradigm on its ear by rejiggering the smartphone in your pocket to be one node of a gigantic weather data collection network; your phone has a pressure-sensitive barometer in it, and when Sunshine solicits its users’ own subjective reports, it becomes weather software that has thousands of “meteorologists” around the world keeping it up to date.
Taken in aggregate, Sunshine is a decentralized weather forecasting system.
You can browse nearby reports issued by other users to get a sense of what the weather is like in other locales. Their reports are represented by little icons on a map, which you can tap on to read weather details.
The thinking goes that as the app’s user base grows, so will the accuracy of the information it conveys. Sunshine even learns your weather preferences over time, issuing you daily push notifications to tell you if the day will be warm, cold, clear, and so on.
Predictably, the app calls for this January day to be “cold.”