Originally done through Kickstarter, Vaavud is a company in Denmark that has created an affordable, simple wind meter that plugs directly into your device’s headphone jack. The device itself contains no electronics, doesn’t require charging, and is extremely portable.
The devices appears to be incredibly straight forward. The included shiny instruction card tells you to download the corresponding app, plug the Vaavud wind meter into your phone’s headphone jack, press Start on the app, and begin measuring wind speed. Simple as that. Did it actually work that easily?
Yes. Yes it did.
Once you get the app downloaded and the device out of the package, you can be up and running in seconds. The wind meter plugged into my headphone jack very easily, even with my case on my phone. There is plenty of length to the plug so it should work regardless of your case. But if, like me, your headphone jack is now on the bottom of your phone, you’ll need to hold your phone upside down. The app will automatically orient itself if you don’t have your orientation locked. Just hold your phone upright and press Start.
The app starts measuring current and average wind speed, marking it in your current location. You can stop measuring at any time. Tap the Map icon to see what other people near you have measured for wind speed in the past 24 hours. It does show your location to others, though (but not any identifying information), so if privacy is an issue, don’t turn on your location for the app. You can also see your own wind speed history if you sign up, which you can do with a stand-alone account or with Facebook.
The app is very clean and simple, and is pretty no-frills. But you can view your wind speed in different units, such as m/s, Kmh, mph, Kts and Bft. If you’re wondering how accurate the device is, here is official word from the website:
“The Vaavud wind meter has a wind range of 2 to 20* m/s. Precision is the least of +/- 4% or 0.2 m/s. The wind meter has been tested and calibrated in a professional wind tunnel at the Technical University of Denmark.
*Up to 24 m/s for iPhone 5S and up to 48 m/s on some Android phones”
Also, since the wind meter only has two cups instead of the usual three, it is very portable and comes with a padded drawstring bag for storage. The bag even has a carabiner to hook to whatever you like. One side of the bag also says “I WIND”, in case those around you don’t know about your love of weather-related phenomena.
The device is extremely durable and can even withstand the weight of a car driving over it. Though I don’t recommend you do that on purpose, just in case.
The Vaavud Wind Meter works with iPhone, iPad, or Android. It retails for $50, but is an accurate, quick, easy, and fun way to measure wind speed wherever you are. Perfect for meteorology-o-philes, students, travelers, adventurers, and the incurably curious. The available colors are red, white, or green. The wind meter won’t measure hurricane-force winds, but you really shouldn’t be out in that kind of weather anyway. Go seek shelter in those cases.
Note: I received a Vaavud wind meter for the purposes of this review.