Raincloud, the newest device from veteran designers Tom Metcalfe, Martin Charlier and Devraj Joshi is a cute little cloud-shaped device that hangs on a string in your room and tells you whether or not its going to rain within hours. It communicates this information by lighting up and changing the frequency of little blue raindrop shapes.
That’s really all there is to it. The “cloud computing” jokes just write themselves.
Readers looking at this post probably have at least one desktop icon on the same screen that does all of that plus display the temperature, wind-speed, and relative humidity. But the point to Raincloud is not what it does, but what it doesn’t do.
The designers explain that Raincloud is part of a new style of IoT design, the Slow Web. The Slow Web movement tries to take a more relaxed approach to the Internet of Things and especially the flow of information.
Rather than be bombarded by twenty devices all trying to be a full media experience, the Slow Web is about modest, simple devices that specialize in one thing but do it well.
So, for those of you wondering why your microwave, stove, refrigerator, toaster, and deep fryer all have to know what time it is, the Zen-like aesthetics of a simple device that just wants to be useful for one casual glance as part of your environment this might be an idea whose time has come.