The heart of tech

This article was published on September 19, 2013


    Thunderspace syncs with your fan to add ‘real’ wind to the thundery weather soundscape app

    Thunderspace syncs with your fan to add ‘real’ wind to the thundery weather soundscape app Image by: Michael Blann
    Paul Sawers
    Story by

    Paul Sawers

    Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check h Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check him out on Google+.

    Back in July, we brought you news on Thunderspace, a stereoscopic 3D soundscape of thundery weather for iPhone, from the creators of popular weather app Haze.

    Thunderspace is a collaborative project between Germany-based app development studio Taptanium and Emmy-award winning nature sound recordist Gordon Hempton.

    Similar to Raining.fm, Thunderspace serves up a blustery weather-based audio experience, designed to help you ‘relax’. But Thunderspace really went the extra mile in putting the various soundcapes together, and spent a lot of money on creating a promo video too.

    Now, Taptanium is taking things a step further, by bringing real wind into the mix.

    Say wha’?

    Of course, iPhones aren’t yet capable of generating wind. But Thunderspace does its best to replicate the blustery elements.

    Now, as you listen to the crashing of wind through your headphones, you can also feel it at the same time. The caveat? You will need at least one fan, as well as the WiFi-enabled Belkin WeMo Switch ($49.99), a device that lets you turn electronic devices on or off from anywhere. The WeMo Switch uses your existing Wi-Fi network to give you control of any electronic device, including TVs, lamps and fans.

    In real terms, Thunderspace scans the WiFi network for the Belkin WeMo switch, and this should appear in the app’s wind configuration screen. You then drag them to set their position relative to where you are.

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    During playback, Thunderspace knows where each fan is positioned, and takes ‘samples’ from the virtual airstream data in real-time, assuming a blowing direction towards the center.

    It’s an interesting initiative for sure, though one has to question whether there is a genuine market for pseudo-wind, or whether it’s more a show of technology.

    Either way, it’s still a neat integration and helps demonstrate what’s possible by mashing together existing hardware with some creative coding.

    Meanwhile, check out the original Thunderspace demo video below. As far as promo skits go, it’s one of the better ones we’ve seen.

    Thunderspace | iOS

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    Feature Image Credit – Thinkstock