- Augmented Reality display of United States Rain Radars- Automatically detects your location and best radar - just launch the app and look around- Interactive Radar Maps- Animated display of previous radar images- Rain Distance Indicator- Customisable settingsUS Rain AR is an Android phone and tablet app which shows you the current location of rain using Augmented Reality – that is, it takes the camera image from your phone, downloads the latest radar information from the National Weather Service and overlays the location of rain across the camera image. The phone’s location sensors are activated, so as you look around, the overlaid image also moves around, all in real time! Just point your camera in the direction – probably the direction where you want to know if it’s raining – and the sky will be painted with colours to indicate the intensity of the rain.
A cool feature of the app is that it will automatically detect your current location and find the nearest radar to you – so there’s nothing you need to do except start the app and it will do the rest. You can also use the Google Maps interface to view your current location, along with the available radars nation-wide.
You can click and drag your location to anywhere else on the map to see what the rain would look like from that vantage point. You can also click on the radar icons on the map to make that radar active. which allows you to override the automatically detected radar. Not only will it make it the active radar for the augmentation display, but it will also show you the latest radar image on the map, where you can easily zoom and scroll around the area.
The map display will also retain up to 10 radar images, meaning you can select multiple radars to display at once and build up an picture of a much broader area – still with the ability to pan and zoom easily around the map.
The augmented reality display also come with the ability to view previous radar images in an animated manner. You can control this by either pressing the play button, or by moving through the images using the slider. This way, not only can you see where the rain is now, but where it has come from and where it may be heading.
A calculated distance is displayed in the centre of the augmentation display, so you know how far away the rain is.
The settings allows you to change many aspects of the app - such as overriding the default radar, selecting a larger radius radar, adjusting the "virtual" height of the augmentation display, and choosing how your current location is determined. You can also choose whether to "normalise" the rain display or not - this means that lighter rain will be accentuated to become more visible on the screen.
Not raining around you and you want to see how this app works? You can always use the Sample Data option to see how US Rain AR works when it's not raining near you - it's not particularly exciting looking at empty skies (or ceilings - because yes, US Rain AR does work indoors!)