Over in Europe, Bosch announced a whole slew of new tools that will be added to their professional and DIY product catalog.
Here’s what you can expect to see hit the market in coming months: a thermal imaging camera, 12V Max and 18V impact drivers and wrenches, DIYer cordless drills, a DIYer cordless drill with “intelligent” electronic controls, a new iXO cordless screwdriver, a MultiPower Bluetooth radio, a DIYer 12V circular saw, DIYer miter saws, angle grinder dust shrouds, circular saws, and Progressor deep-cutting hole saws.
Some of these Bosch professional tools might make it to the USA, and some of the green-colored DIYer tools might also, but perhaps under Skil or Dremel branding.
Although I plan to post about the other upcoming tools, I find the idea of a Bosch thermal imaging camera to be most interesting.
Bosch Thermal Imaging Camera
The new Bosch thermal imaging camera (model GTC 230 C Professional) is built with an 80×60 px resolution thermal sensor (possibly a Lepton core, as in Flir’s C2, One, and TG165 devices, to keep costs down), which takes 4800 discrete temperature measurements per scan. It also features a 3.5″ touchscreen display, as well as photo and video capabilities.
Bosch boasts that their new thermal camera:
Excels compared to comparable competitor models due to its 3.5-inch color display with editing function via touchscreen and can capture not only photos, but also videos with sound.
|Specifications||GTC 230 C Professional|
|Temperature range||-20 to +230°C|
|Temperature measuring accuracy||± 2°C|
|Resolution of thermal image||80 x 60, 4800 pixels|
|Resolution of camera||2 megapixels|
|Field of view||33 x 25°|
|Screen||3.5-inch color touchscreen|
|Dust and splash protection||IP 54|
|Storage medium||Micro SD card with 4 GB|
|Power supply|| 10.8 volt lithium-ion battery, alternatively
with AA1 Professional battery adapter:
4 x 1.5 V LR6 (AA) batteries
|Dimensions (length x width x height)||120 x 95 x 240|
|Weight (including battery)||594 g|
The thermal imaging camera will be added to the brand’s 10.8V/12V Max compact cordless tool lineup, but there’s also an adapter you could use (AA1) that allows you to power the camera with AA batteries instead.
There are some great aspects about the design, such as its dust and waterproof design (IP54), and it looks decent as far as technical specs go. The fact that it can record photos and video means it won’t come too cheaply, but I expect for it to be reasonably affordable – that is if it makes it to the USA.
Bosch “Thermo Detector”
In addition to the thermal imaging camera, there will also be a thermo detector (model GIS 1000 C Professional), which sounds a lot like Flir’s TG165 thermal imaging thermometer. It will presumably be available at a substantially lower price than the thermal imaging camera.
Measurement data, which is documented in photos taken by the built-in camera, can be beamed to Android and iOS smartphones and tablets for processing via Bluetooth and upcoming app. You can also transfer them to a PC using a microUSB cable.
Non-contact temperature measurements aren’t good enough for you? The thermo detector also has an input for K-type thermocouples for those times you need direct contact temperature measurements.
Additionally, the thermo detector has a room temperature and humidity sensor, to help add context to your measurements.
|Specifications||GIS 1000 C Professional|
|Temperature range||-40 to +1000°C|
|Surface temperature measuring accuracy||± 1°C|
|Room temperature measuring accuracy||± 0,2°C|
|Humidity measuring accuracy||± 2%|
|Screen||2.8-inch color display|
|Display of measuring field||2 laser points|
|Resolution of camera||VGA: 640 x 480|
|Maximum working range||5 m|
|Optimum measuring distance||1 m|
|Distance-to-spot ratio (D:S)||50:1|
|Storage capacity of images||≥ 200|
|Power supply|| 10.8 volt lithium-ion battery, alternatively
with AA1 Professional battery adapter:
4 x 1.5 V LR6 (AA) batteries
|Dimensions (length x width x height)||117 x 87 x 217|
|Weight (including battery)||547 g|
Like the higher-end camera, the thermo detector is also powered by Bosch’s 10.8V/12V Max platform, and you could also use the same adapter to power it with AA batteries.
It’s a little surprising to see Bosch leap head-first into the thermal imaging market, but it does look like they did their research. Both tools look competitively featured, and will probably shake things up a bit.
If they’re released in the USA, the thermal imaging camera would have to be priced below $1000, and the thermo detector below $500 or so in order to eat into competitors’ market share. At launch, the thermal imaging camera will be priced at 999 euros, and the thermo detector at 399 euros, which exactly where they need to be. The current conversion rate is 1.06 euros to 1 USD, and so we might see sub-$1000 and sub-$500 (and even sub-$400) pricing here in the states.
Those prices are for the kits that include rechargeable Li-ion battery pack and charger. Both models come with a microUSB cable, and the thermal imaging camera comes with a 4GB microSD card. The AA battery adapter is available separately.
Reminder: These tools have only been announced in Europe thus far. I anticipate that they will be announced and available in the USA, but right now that’s uncertain.
I like it but with one shortcoming – marries you to their rechargeables system.
and that’s not a bad thing – I get why. But for me – as a home owner, I want a thermal cam, or some flavor – and I’d love a short scope cam. But I don’t want to be married to another rechargeables system. I’d love to see one of these come out dual version – Bare tool rigged for rechargeables, pricer standalone model that uses a 9V, or something.
seems like a capable device
Look closer – there’s an AA battery adapter that you could buy separately. Best of both worlds.
I saw that bit about the adapter – and thought that it was a nice innovation by Bosch, There are a few “instrument-type” tools in 12V rechargeable lineups that would probably benefit from this sort of adapter. I also get Nathan’s point that he and others might want to buy the camera with the adapter as the standard – avoiding the expense of a Li Ion battery and charger. Maybe Bosch will offer a bare tool option.
While I like the features of this new Bosch unit, I have an early version FLIR E4 that I was able to supe-up – and it does more than enough for me.
thank you – I suck at reading sometimes.
You’re welcome. Don’t worry, it’s not just you – most people don’t “read” websites, they “skim.”
That’s why I keep paragraphs short and sweet, and why I sometimes have to violate a lot of the writing conventions they teach in school.
Why on earth doesn’t Bosch bring everything to the US? It seems if they have the best made tools, which often it seems they do, that they would be bought here. I have loved my 12v Bosch impact, but haven’t expanded to any other cordless tools because, well, Bosch hasn’t expanded their offerings for the most part.
I know they aren’t USA made, but they often aren’t China made. My Bosch oscillating tool (corded) is made in Switzerland. So even if some of their tools were China made, I have a feeling they would be top quality.
Should we start a change,org petition to get them to sell more here?
Bosch hates us, that’s all it is.
Most of the 12V max tools are made in China.
I haven’t seen Bosch 10,8/12V Max tool yet that was made in China. All that I have seen have been from Malaysia. Inspection camera was Chinese. Other corded and 18V tools that I’ve seen have been from Germany, USA, Russia and China.
I’m still a little fuzzy (a lot fuzzy, actually) on the distinction between a “thermo detector”, a visual IR thermometer and a full-fledged thermal imaging camera. In day-to-day use, how do they differ?
Take the TG165, for example. From your earlier review, I understand that even though it features an 80×60 thermal detector, it only measures temperature at one spot (whereas a true thermal imager also using an 80×60 sensor would measure at 4800 spots?). What does that difference mean in practice?
Say I point a TG165 and an E4 at the same circuit panel. Both seem to give me a colorful display showing temperature variations. Is the E4’s advantage that I can, at some point later, load up the image and know the exact temperature at 4800 spots on the wall whereas if I load up the TG165’s image, I’ll only know the exact temperature at the center (though I can infer temperature gradients from the color pattern)?
A thermal imaging camera is a full-fledged device that takes individual thermographic measurements for each pixel in its sensor. The main purpose is to get that high quality thermal image.
An imaging thermometer is more about a single temperature reading. Thermal imaging cameras do this quite well also.
So with an imaging thermometer, the main purpose of the thermal sensor is to guide you to where and what you need to take a temperature measurement of.
Thermal imaging cameras are much more flexible and featureful.
The TG165, for instance, uses the full extent of its thermal sensor to produce an image, but you cannot really control the image, at least not to the extent as you would a thermal imaging camera. And you don’t get those 4,800 data points.
With Flir’s Lepton core, thermal tools are more affordable to build than ever, but the cost of other components are still there. Bosch’s thermal imaging camera has greater image capturing specs, and video capturing ability.
With a TG165, you’ll see the temperature gradient and get a single measurement. With an E4, you get MSX visual contrast enhancement, an extra color pallet, and a larger display.
I had to refer to the E4’s datasheet, as the “modified firmware” version has a couple of unlocked enhancements, such as additional measurement modes.
It comes down to this:
Do you want to pinpoint a site of interest and take a temperature measurement? Then either device will suit you well.
Do you want to present a report to a client or supervisor showing trouble spots, along with full radiometric data? Then a thermal imaging camera will be better.
The line used to be thicker, when imaging thermometers had horrible resolution. But the latest and upcoming imaging thermometers are a lot closer to thermal imaging cameras than they used to be. That’s kind of the point – to offer a bridge between IR thermometers and full-fledged thermal imaging cameras, at an inbetween price.
Thanks for the clarifications, Stuart!
This is good! This is a very good thing indeed!
I want one, but I am already many many dollars into the M12 line. Hopefully this will force Milwaukee reevaluate their pricing and drop it to a more sensible level than its current @ $3000 USD/$3800 AUS
Milwaukee’s thermal imaging camera is actually quite good. Its price was and is $2500 USD. Keep in mind that it has a 160 x 120 px sensor, which means it captures 4X the readings compared to Bosch’s upcoming thermal imaging camera. 4X the resolution can make a difference with reports and when sharing thermal images.
I’ve been wanting to get me a thermal imaging camera to play around with, and heck, maybe I find it that one may make my life easier. Right now I use digital thermometers along with an infrared thermometer.
Having said that, which would you recommend to be the best bang for the buck in the $1000 range?
Flir E4, even if current firmware might put a roadblock in front of “unlocking” efforts.
Flir’s MSX image enhancement technology is truly great.
But… Bosch’s new device also offers video recording, and it has a touchscreen. Tough call.
I paid cash for my E4, would do it again.
That E4 hack is a no brainier for me. I’ll have to do my research to find the right identification as to not buy the non-hackable one. Thanks.
Would you buy it again even without the Firmware hack?
Nevermind, I got distracted reading the EEVBlog and forgot you already said you would.
Yes, but I would have waited to buy one from Zoro at a 25% or 30% discount.
Their 12v jigsaw is the best design I’ve seen. If only they contoured the shape of the drivers to your hand so they aren’t so awkward and bulky, then I would buy into the line. Still excited to see what else they bring here.
I’m hoping they bring over the 12V circular saw.
Lowe’s got rid of the Porter-Cable compact tools, but they still carry the Bosch 12V drills and drivers, and even have a special end cap display for the 12V and 18V Bosch tools and accessories .
Milwaukee seems like the only real competitor in the 12V line and they are only sold at Home Depot.
Seems like a good time for Bosch to market and bring over more of the 12V stuff before they lose any more of the market than they have already.
People are going to go for the Milwaukee 12V system if it’s the one with saws and lots of other useful tools in the lineup while Bosch just has a drill, an impact driver, mini recip saw, vibrating tool, radio, flashlight and various kits.
I have the Bosch stuff and like it more, just would be nice if they brought over the rest of the tools. Sucks to have to go for the big corded tools when a smaller 12V version would be perfect for the job at hand.
Guys with FLIR and finite resolution – something to keep in mind is the current limitations with resolution and control stem from the physics. IR cameras work only on thermal differentials of the IR reflected from the picture source, and the sensor array. as it turns out the closer you can get the sensor array to 0, the further apart the differentials – the better the resolution and distance capability adding more sensors to the array doesn’t really help. some of these expensive flir cams – have peltier coolers on the backs of the array to chill them. I’m surprised to see these things come down to cost what they do.