Weather Network Crushes Canadian Startup with New PointCast Feature

For all the advanced technology available today, accurate weather reports remain elusive. Pelmorex Media hopes to finally change this with the launch of PointCast, a Weather Network product that pinpoints weather with one-kilometre precision.

“By using exclusive technology built here at The Weather Network, we can now provide you with a personal forecast narrowed down to within one kilometre of where you are,” Pelmorex explains.

PointCast will offer seven-day forecasts, current temperatures, and hourly and 14-day trends for a staggering 800,000 Canadian postal code locations.

Chief executive office Pierre Morrissette describes this as a “quantum-leap breakthrough.” The company’s old forecast range was 10 kilometres. And he notes that just 15 years ago a five-day forecast was a big deal.

In Canada, where everyone is obsessed with the weather – and where weather changes dramatically and frequently – this increased precision will no doubt be well-received. But at least one other company should be less than pleased.

Founded in 2008, SkyMotion spent three years researching and developing a technology that it launched just last month. The Canadian startup operates a free weather forecasting platform that uses geolocation, radar observation, motion tracking, and “other technology borrowed from the computer graphic and video game industry” to deliver hyperlocal weather reports.

While SkyMotion emphasizes a focus on predicting precitipation – it tells you exactly when rain will start and stop, for example – PointCast’s more general approach is nonetheless a serious blow to the startup’s freshly launched product.

Both companies affirm their technology is highly advanced, alberit in different ways. SkyMotion’s founders, Andre LeBlanc and Maxime Julien, have a combined 40 years of experience in areas such as image processing and software. Their platform’s weather range is also one kilometre and they believe their reports are the “most accurate precipitation forecasts currently available on the market.” (It’s worth noting that this was said before PointCast was revealed).

The Weather Network, meanwhile, says that PointCast is an “incredibly complicated marriage of science and algorithms.”

With Pelmorex’s vastly superior resources, will it kill the Montreal startup’s infant product? Or will Canadians, ever obsessive over weather, simply double-down and use both apps to further feed their insatiable appetites for “partly sunny” and “cloudy periods”?