Weathernews Partners With Paris-Based Netatmo To Power Its Crowdsourced Forecasts

Weathernews Inc. Japan, the owner of Sunnycomb and Weathermob apps, is striking a new partnership with Paris-based Netatmo to use data from its home weather sensors for crowdsourced forecasts.

Netatmo’s weather sensor sets, which is sold in 174 countries, are made up of small outdoor and indoor modules that send information about temperature, humidity, air pressure, and carbon dioxide levels to a connected app. The company has not disclosed how many of its sets are in use, but they are sold through the Apple Store and it claims to have the largest network of home weather sensors in the world.

Tomohiro Ishibashi, director of Weathernews, says one of its goals is to become the largest crowdsourced weather company in the world, providing forecasts for consumers as well as enterprise clients.

Weathernews, which acquired Weathermob recently to expand its U.S. presence, says partnering with Netatmo will allow it to provide more people, including Sunnycomb and Weathermob users, with comprehensive information about meteorological conditions.

While Weathernews also operates its own traditional weather stations, it believes crowdsourced weather data from smartphones and home sensors are an important alternative for areas that don’t have access to stations, which are often run by the governments or airports.

Crowdsourced forecasts can potentially help guide responses to natural disasters in places without stations, provide quicker weather updates, or be sold to industries like agriculture or shipping.

Partnering with Netatmo is a big step for Weathernews as it expands in Europe. Ishibashi says the company hopes to strike more alliances with other companies that make climate sensors for consumers and also plans to create its own smart devices.