Image representing WeatherBug as depicted in C...
Image via CrunchBase

I’m going to double dip here and talk about the same thing we issued a press release on this week — the Brand Thunder Weather Theme. I’m doing so because I think the technology behind it and the experience in front of it are simply amazing.

Almost the entire background changes with the weather. This theme creates a new level of opportunity for our partners and users. Think of the implications if you’re in the business of “new.” Whether it’s fashion or celebrity, photo journalism or visual content, the ability to change the theme with the visual elements that keep it fresh and your audience in tune is pretty cool.

It also opens the opportunity to create new themes where the visuals update based on a timed sequence — something like a life-stage theme. It could be as simple as theme of Seasons, so last week’s vernal equinox would have welcomed in the Spring theme automatically. Or maybe an expectant parent theme tracking the changes in the unborn child. The communication channel created with these interactive themes are not left to the content feeds, they are inspired with the visual connection as well.

The Weather theme is a showcase of the functionality and what browser themes can become. We’re modifying your browser experience based on the local weather conditions. Your location is determined by entering your location or by letting the Firefox browser use its location services to determine your location.

For the weather content, we leveraged the WeatherBug API, which gave us a great resource for more weather information than you can imagine. With the API, we had a good foundation to work with for a rich sidebar featuring live weather conditions, radar weather maps and more. Plus, we had all the standard elements needed: current temperature and at-glance-forecast.

A portfolio of stylized weather conditions were designed for the browser theme backgrounds and they meld seamlessly with the forecast icons from WeatherBug. The theme also allows you to set the number of forecast days you want to see. It’s beautiful, interactive and useful on so many levels.

This is the next step in what a browser theme can be and I invite you to try it out at http://brandthunder.com/weather.

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2 responses to “Weather Forecast Dynamically Updates in Browser Theme

  1. I’d like to comment on this theme, if I may. First of all, I like this idea of dynamic updating by weather condition. I have recently tried a few of the Brand Thunder theme and have noted the following issues using the current version of FireFox.

    With all of the themes, could you eliminate (or give the option to eliminate) the search bar on the tool bar? Firefox comes with a search bar. (I mean, really, how many more search bars does one need?) Sure, I could disable the tool bar, but this one has other functions. Perhaps adding the additional search as an engine within FireFox. Much cleaner.

    I have also found that the installation of any Brand Thunder theme makes almost every other toolbar addons useless. My toolbars are customized using addons and these themes remove the added icons. Firefox Safe Mode will not fix this. I was only able to return full function by removing Brand Thunder.

    Thanks!
    Ron

  2. Ron:

    Thanks for your comments, and thanks for trying a range of our products. It’s great to hear.

    Regarding the add-ons compatibility issues. We’ve forwarded your note to development and I expect you’ll hear from them to help troubleshoot. We try to test against the most popular add-ons to ensure no collision points, but the potential always remains. I expect we’ll find a solution. Also, for technical issues, you can also go to http://support.brandthunder.com where our entire team monitors and responds to issues.

    I don’t have as easy an answer regarding the toolbar search. The search elements are a big part of what allows us to build these themes as a full-time business and to keep them free. I empathize with concern over aesthetics, unfortunately the abundance of search toolbars in the market have trained people to search on the left. When we don’t have that placement there, we get clobbered in usage. But, your feedback is noted. We keep these and revisit as we evolve the product.

    Thanks again for your comments and support.

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