Purpose

For centuries human beings have been trying to predict the weather, or more precisely what will fall from the sky today. The history of meteorology as a science goes all the way back to Aristotle. Over a century ago, meteorology became advanced enough to start (sort of) reliably predicting weather patterns. But as computing power increased, we hit information overload — and we needed a human to boil down the sea of numbers into simple advice. We were not sure exactly what it meant when the barometric pressure was falling, but weather forecasters told us to bring umbrellas, and we did.

But then a funny thing happened. The internet and, more recently, smartphones began to deliver real-time weather information. While this certainly looked like progress — more data available anytime, anywhere — the experience actually got worse instead of better. On the internet, weather again seemed like a sea of numbers. We want to fix that. And so Poncho was born.

Poncho explains the weather in plain, clear English — just like weather forecasters used to do. But, this time, it’s personal, local and timely.

Instead of providing you with more data and visualizations to interpret, it gets to know you — when you wake up, how you commute to work, if you have pets to walk — and then gives you personalized advice. There’s no app to install or update, no graphs to interpret. Poncho will tell you just what you need to know to get your day started, and nothing more.

Poncho is initially launching in New York City. If New Yorkers like the concept as much as we hope they will, we’ll start rolling out to additional cities in the coming weeks.