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Richard McKay discusses the future of meteorological products

Gill Instruments’ Product Manager, Richard McKay, talks about emerging technologies, the future of the meteorological market and Gill’s latest product MaxiMet. What emerging technologies are coming up on the horizon? Due to the advances in smart phones and tablets, smaller, cost effective components along with improved wireless technologies are filtering through to manufacturers of meteorological equipment. With these developments, new additional information and capabilities can be provided by compact weather stations, making for a better, more rounded weather ‘picture’ for customers. Are there any new markets emerging as a result of this new technology? Yes, multi-parameter, compact weather systems that can be used to provide better spatial coverage, known as a dense network, for software modelling or complex terrain. How do you keep your product portfolio relevant as markets and technologies change? Gill Instruments has a policy of continuous innovation and best measurement practices. Additionally, Gill is actively involved with the various communities working to solve many of today’s measurement challenges. This is a continuous cycle that benefits all parties and allows Gill to remain one of the leading meteorological solution providers in the world today. How does Gill go about identifying new product opportunities? We gather market information from a range of areas to help us to identify new opportunities. This can be anything from project work where we are actively involved with the users tackling modern problems, either with the measurement itself or with the collection and processing of the data. We are also involved at different levels with the academic community and many specialist application areas as well. In light of the emerging markets, you have just launched a new product, why MaxiMet now? There are already many compact weather stations on the marketplace, what they lack and what Gill is now able to provide is a more complete weather ‘picture’ with a better user experience at the right price point. Never before has so much capability been available in an entry level system with such high quality and reliability. What key markets will MaxiMet appeal to and how will it benefit them? There are several markets that MaxiMet will appeal from Agricultural users, Hydrological applications to Renewable energies to name a few. As an example, agricultural users may have a very low power, small footprint station available with many more parameters helping ensure better yield and utilisation of resources while enduring sometimes harsh, vibration or other extreme environmental conditions with the highest reliability. From providing automatic Sunrise/Sunset/Mean Sea Level Pressure information based on GPS location to quality assurance checks when installed in operational networks, MaxiMet provides data that is intuitively available today to a more diverse market. There are a lot of competitive products already on the market – What sets MaxiMet apart? The combination of technology included together with a better user experience. MaxiMet provides the widest range of derived parameters to ease of connection and user interface options. Users can access the data easily through several methods, they can configure and view the station information via a touchscreen interface on their own smart phone or tablet and know they can count on the quality and reliability of the measurement without a second thought. Is MaxiMet an indication of future products being required to offer more functionality in an integrated package? Absolutely, reference quality single measurements will always have their place, however, more and more users benefit from technological advances at lower price levels allowing for more custom and tailored information to their needs, in the way they wish to see it and where they wish to see it. What do you think Gill’s product range will look like in 5 years’ time? We will continue to relentlessly innovate and provide meteorological and environmental solutions where others see a problem and we see a challenge! Finally, what makes Gill a leader in their field? Excellence in engineering, a desire to continuously improve while maintaining the highest quality standards paired with a genuine curiosity and interest in our customers applications.

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