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It can be impossible to know if you’re dressed properly for the temperature, until you go outside and confirm that, yes, you were the only one silly enough to wear shorts in the unseasonably frigid breeze.
Cloth is a fashion app–a way to share your daily wardrobe over social media–but it’s their latest update that has our attention. They’ve added weather information to your catalog of clothing. So whenever you snap a shot of what you’re wearing, it will automatically be tagged with temperature metadata. In the future, all you have to do is click a “Hot” or “Chilly” icon, and you’ll see all of the clothing you have that can match the temperature. (And hopefully, something in that collection is actually clean.)
Those categories are an important component in keeping the experience simple: Cloth only tags your outfits with the categories Hot, Warm, Chilly, Freezing, Rain and Snow (rather than 45 degrees and sunny or 65 degrees and cloudy). These categories are automated and standardized, as Cloth pulls the temperature from Wunderground, meaning that 75 will always be warm; you can’t screw your system up by mislabeling. It’s a pretty neat idea translated into what the company calls “glanceable information”–a personalized approach to Swackett, if you’ve heard of that clothing forecast app–but it could go so much further than it does.
Also somewhat oddly, the system doesn’t prevent you from reinforcing your own (potentially poor) outfit choices. If you wear a sweater when it’s “hot,” the sweater will be automatically tagged as hot-weather apparel. You can go back in later and retag your outfit with a different suitable temperature, manually, but maybe a “was your outfit too warm, cold or just right?” poll at the end of the day would idiot-proof the process. It would even be interesting to add regional tagging into the mix. So rather than going outside to see what people wore, you could go to Cloth’s feed and know what people are wearing around you from your phone alone. And you could know if they thought their choice was too warm, cold or just right, too.
Both iOS and Android have weather widgets built right in, but weather apps have carved out a huge chunk of the app market all the same. So what’s missing in core weather apps? Detailed forecasts? Probably. But what about something a touch more visceral?
Brisk, by TwoSolid, is an iPhone app with simple style. On one hand, it’s a no-frills experience. The weather is conveyed in temperature and icon–the classic cloud with a thunderbolt idea we see everywhere. There’s no hour-by-hour projection. There’s no weather map. You can flick right to see tomorrow’s weather, flick down to change your location, or flick up to tweak the settings. That’s pretty much it.
But on the other hand, Brisk cuts through the excess to focus on the core, answering the question “what is the weather like at this very moment?” “I was just tired of weather apps where you need to read the temperature or see overwhelming graphics plus do additional actions to figure out what is happening to the weather,” designer Eddie Lobanovskiy tells Co.Design. “Brisk let’s you figure out what the weather feels like right now by using appropriate color tone.”
Brisk’s UI features a warm-to-cool color gradient that’s more than just pretty. If it’s warm outside, the temperature appears in the warm part of the image (and the screen becomes more orange). If it’s cold outside, the temperature drops to the cool part of the image (and the screen becomes more blue). Oddly enough, though, these colors can be remapped. So if your interpretation of warm is different than everyone else’s, then you can enjoy blue 80-degree days. I can’t help but feel this is a bit too accommodating to the hypothetical consumer. There’s a reason that we call orange a “warm” color–it’s the color of fire and the sun–while “cool” blues are naturally tied to water and frost. That phenomenon isn’t something that TwoSolid should feel the need to offer options around; it drives the entire value of their app’s perspective.
All the same, Brisk seems worth checking out when it’s available in the coming weeks. You can sign up on their page if you’d like to be notified of its release.
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