This little gadget plugs into the ear plug of your smartphone. The plug is just the holder. The wind vanes spin and send a signal to your smartphone. The free software picks up the signal and shows wind speed, including highs and averages.
In and of itself this is pretty cool. What's cooler though is that Vaavud puts your wind info onto Googlemaps for all to see. You can see wind speeds from all of the active Vaavud units in your area.
This seems like it will be a handy gadget to play around with.
The website shows the price at €45. I just picked one up in Ontario (Sobstad) for $49.95 CDN (minus 10% special).
A couple of downsides: as the sender seems to have a pretty short range (inches) the unit works best as designed - which is plugged in to the ear bud jack, which means that the phone will be exposed to the elements when you are using the windmeter. I am thinking of mounting a plug on a rail just to attach the windmeter and, with my phone in its waterproof housing, hold the phone close to the Vaavud when I want a reading.
Another downside is that now, with accurate wind information, those 35 kt gusts are going to be somewhat diminished.
Of course those with masthead wind instruments won't need this device other than as a back-up.
So, if anyone has been using this, what are your thoughts?
For more info you can visit the website here.
Here's a link to the iTunes Store for the free app. This shows a screenshot of the map feature.