Android Battery Performance Reflects Local Weather Patterns
A mobile coverage tracking app has uncovered an unexpected side effect of battery performance — it’s affected by the weather, or more specifically the ambient temperature.
Reversing that, it could be possible to track battery performance to turn smartphones into mobile weather stations.
OpenSignal, which developed apps for Android and iPhone handsets that monitor mobile network performance added functionality to the Android app about 18 months ago that collected battery performance data.
On a whim, they thought it might be interesting to plot that data against historic temperatures and to their surprise found a correlation. More filtering was needed to take into account issues such as clothing, usage etc., but overall, there is a near perfect link between battery temperature and the outdoor temperature.
Given sufficient users, to even out the variabilities, smartphones can be a surprisingly accurate weather tracker.
The company has now developed a dedicated Android app to track temperature using Android smartphones as an experiment.
As they said, with “a hundred thousand people in single city using this app, we would have a picture of the weather of unprecedented detail.”