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Growing up, I never really bothered with checking the weather report, since living in southern California meant it was sunny almost every day. It’s a different story in Japan, which sees rain in each season. Add in how much walking people do here, plus the fact that everyone hangs their clothes outside, and knowing how the weather’s going to be tomorrow becomes a little more important.

You could get the forecast from the TV news or the Internet, but if you’re looking for a more stylish alternative, a group of inventors have developed a box that’ll recreate the weather of the future, as well as the past and present, right in your living room.

Called the Tempescope, the gadget is the brainchild of Ken Kawamoto, Hirokazu Kobayashi, and Norio Okubo. When it’s powered down, it looks like an ordinary box, but once you see it in action, it becomes clear why its three creators describe it as “a slice of the sky inside you home.”

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Inside its rectangular acrylic resin housing, the Tempescope is able to produce a number of weather patterns. Drops of water tumble down for rain, and the box can also fill with billowing clouds.

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Thunderstorms are represented by dramatic flashes of light, while a soft glow represents clear skies at sunrise.

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It’s possible to set the Tempescope to display the conditions of your choosing, and we’re sure being able to control the weather is an enjoyable power trip, no matter how limited in scale your dominion. A more practical way to use it, though, is to connect the device to your PC, allowing it to access the next day’s forecast and give you a visual display of what’s in store ahead of time.

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That’s not to say the design team doesn’t have a sentimental streak, though. If your digital pictures include data for the time and location they were taken at, linking the Tempescope to the photo viewer will allow it to search for and reproduce the weather as it was when you pushed the shutter.

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Alternatively, using it in tandem with Skype will make the Tempescope match the weather where your conversation partner is, helping you feel just a little more connected to family, friends, and loved ones who’re far away.

The generous group of inventors have made the machine’s schematics, CAD diagrams, and source code publicly available on its official website, and encourage anyone interested in building their own to take a crack at it, with an estimated total cost of about 8,000 yen (US $73). Don’t worry if you’re not good with your hands, though. The team is planning a Kickstarter campaign in 2015 to raise the funds to build and sell the Tempescope themselves.

Related: Tempescope official website
Source: NGE
Images: YouTube