Seek Thermal has come out the Thermal, a $199 thermal imaging camera that works with certain Android and Apple smartphones. It works with Android phones with microUSB ports and USB on the Go support, and iPhones built with the newer Lightning connector.
Key features include a 206 x 156 px thermal sensor array, a glass lens with 36° field of view, magnesium housing, and -40° to 330° C (-40° to 626° F) temperature measurement range.
With a price of just $199, the Thermal is being marketed towards consumers and professional audiences alike.
Seek Thermal’s app will offer a ThermalPlus mode that allows for side-by-side viewing of thermal and visual images.
The Thermal will be available soon, through distributors such as Amazon, and Seek Thermal directly.
More Info(via Seek Thermal)
One thing I don’t quite like about the Seek Thermal camera is how it’s advertised as a way to see intruders and potentially nefarious individuals in the dark, such as when you walk to your car in a parking lot at night. They also advertise it as a way to check the temperature of meat on the grill. To me that kind of takes away from the many ways this can be used professionally, to check for drafts, water damage, and malfunctioning electrical equipment.
It can be tempting to look at the $199 price tag and wonder how Seek Thermal did it, but keep in mind that this is just a camera module, and that it requires the LCD and computing power of a smartphone to work.
The takeaway is that this is a $200 smartphone thermal camera module that shows you the normally-invisible world of infrared light. How well it works for contractors, tradesmen, and professionals will remain to be seen.
Generally, if you’re looking for a more professionally well-featured standalone thermal imager, the $1000 Flir E4 is a great way to go. It delivers a good quality image, and that’s even before user firmware modification. The great Flir image quality is partially attributed to their MSX visual image enhancement technology, which doesn’t just overlay visual and thermal images, it adds visual contrast into the thermal image.