Decoding Design

A thermometer that shows temperature through touch

A thermometer that shows temperature through touch

Posting in Design

An industrial design student at RIT developed a concept for a thermostat that communicates temperature through touch.

A standard thermometer works by reading the conditions outside and delivering a numeric temperature. However, an industrial design student at Rochester Institute of Technology has developed a thermometer that communicates by touch, letting the user actually feel the temperature outside.

This device, called the Cyroscope Haptic Weathervane, created by Robb Godshaw, also of Syyn Labs, shows the user "exactly what to expect outside by haptically exhibiting exactly how cold or warm it is."

To use the device all you have to do is touch an aluminum cube. The unit gathers the information on its own, by syncing to weather data on the internet, which s in turn translated to the cube by pumping heat in or out.

The cube rests at a temperature of about 85 degrees F (30 C), a temperature perceived as neutral by our skin, and is adjusted by the number of degrees the current forecast differs from room temperature, or around 73 degrees F.

Inside the cube, hardware includes an Arduino that controls a Peltier element and a heat sink that work together to pump heat in and out.

Video demonstration and more photos below.

Cryoscope from Robb Godshaw on Vimeo.

[Core 77]
Photos: Robb Godshaw

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Beth Carter

Contributing Editor

Beth Carter is a freelance journalist based in San Francisco. She has worked for Catalyst magazine, the New York Times Syndicate, BBC Travel and Wired. She holds degrees from the University of Oregon and New York University. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure