After vacationing to the Mariana Islands in the North Pacific, Tokyo-based software engineer Ken Kawamoto longed for a way to bring the tropical weather home with him. Most people would have written this off as an impossible dream, but Kawamoto was inspired to invent the tempescope, an “ambient weather display” that simulates rain, clouds, and purple lighting within a space no bigger than a table lamp.

Kawamoto built the first prototype in 2012 using an LED, an ultrasonic diffuser, water and air pumps, and $1 shampoo bottles. His project garnered much attention from the DIY community, and he created an open source version soon after. It was designed to be buildable with readily available materials, but it still required a significant amount of time and skill to assemble. So Kawamoto and his team have taken the tempescope to Indiegogo, where they hope to raise $398,000 to create easy-to-build $199 kits that can be shipped out on a commercial scale. 

The gadget syncs to a weather forecast app on your phone to replicate weather conditions from any part of the globe. You can program it to show you what the weather will look like in your own backyard tomorrow, or you can have it simulate the skies over the home of a long-distance friend. You can also customize the weather to fit your current mood, setting it for rain before you curl up with a good book or for sunshine on a dreary day. 

As of now, the campaign has raised less than 40 percent of its goal, but there are still 39 days left to donate and reserve a tempescope of your own. If all goes as planned, their “caged atmospheres” will be sitting on desktops and coffee tables around the world by next spring.

[h/t: City Lab