Weather Now and Later

Boram Kim, Lirong Liu

A physical weather board that visually shows the current temperature with different LED colors and moving pixels. The user can interact with the board by turning the clock hand to make it show the weather condition at a later time.


The idea of Weather Now and Later first came up, as I wanted to build something that the user can quickly see before heading outside, to check the current weather condition. The concept has become more artistic since the initial stage.

This 22″x 14″ board uses different colored LEDs – red, yellow and blue, behind a translucent acrylic to give off different mood color corresponding with the current temperature. On the acrylic board, there will be pixels that move forward and backward to represent digits and show the temperature readings. There are many servomotors used to move each pixel. A stepper motor is be used to show the needle representing the current time under temperature digits, which the user can turn to check the weather condition for a later time during the day. After showing the temperature for 30 seconds, the clock needle turns back to the current time and moving pixels and LED colors change back as well to the temperature at current state. The user will not be able to see the complicated wiring of all the LEDs, as they will be hidden inside a wooden box. However they will be able to see how the motor turns and moves the pixels at the back.

Yahoo Weather API from Processing will be used to send the current temperature and weather condition to Arduino, which will tell the board what to change. The current temperature is set to New York, but can be manually changed to different parts of the world if needed. The temperature is shown in Celsius, and during the Winter Show, I can imagine the board lit with blue colored LEDs to show that it is cold outside, and a negative digit temperature reading.


Introduction to Physical Computing