A clever device used to measure wind speed, the anemometer has been around for many years â although it has been modified numerous times. The first mechanical anemometer was thought to have been developed in the 15th century with Dr. John Thomas Robinson developing a simple cup anemometer in 1846. This was made up of four hemispherical cups each placed on vertical arms attached to a horizontal shaft at equal angles. As the wind blew, the anemometer would turn. The number of turns would then be calculated over a set period of time to determine the wind speed. This invention was tweaked many times with a three cup version also being released, however, today much more sophisticated devices have been developed including the hot-wire anemometer, the laser Doppler anemometer and the sonic anemometer to name but a few. Thankfully, hand-held anemometers have also been developed and are the perfect accessories for many outdoor sports including sailing, surfing, hand-gliding, walking or any other activity that might be affected by the speed of the wind. With many of these gadgets small enough to pop into your bag or pocket, you can take these handy devices wherever you go in order to stay safe and informed while you're out and about.