Your smartphone battery measures the weather

This is the story of the most surprising thing we have yet discovered at OpenSignal. Eighteen months ago we began gathering data on battery performance from our Android app – the metrics available on Android include charge level, voltage and battery temperature. These are relevant to our mission to understand the world’s wireless networks, since poor signal can lead to increased battery consumption. After 6 months of data collection, we chanced on an unexpected relationship. Aggregating daily battery temperature readings to city level revealed a strong correlation with historic outdoor air temperature.

With a mathematical transformation, the average battery temperature across a group of phones gives the outdoor air temperature.

Harnessed properly, this could change the way weather data is collected, which is why we built Weathersignal an app and a website for crowdsourcing the weather.

Our findings have been published today in the scientific journal Geophysical Research Letters. To see the full story continue to the full report.

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