Thermal Camera Imaging Brought to Your Daily Life, See Things Like Never Before
The Seek thermal camera accessory for Apple iOS devices is now available for sale with a price of $199 USD as up until recently only the Android-based version of the device was up for sale. The Seek thermal Camera for iOS is designed and optimized to be used with an iPhone 5, 5c or 5S as well as iPhone 6 and 6 Plus or iPod Touch 5th Generation, but the device will also work with iPad Mini (all versions), iPad Air and iPad 4th Generation. Since the iOS version of the Seek thermal imaging camera is using the newer Lightning interface for connecting to the smartphone or tablet it will not be compatible with devices such as iPhone 4S or older as well as iPad and iPod touch models that use the old larger Apple connector. Also, apart from a compatible Apple iOS device with a Lightning interface you would also need to have it running iOS 7 or newer version of the operating system in order for it to work.
The specifications of the iOS version of the accessory are the same as the ones for the already available for a while Android version of the device, the price is also the same, so it is up to you to get the right model based on your smartphone type. The important thing is that the iOS version is now also available, but unfortunately just like with the Android version you can currently order and have the Seek thermal imager from the official website only to United States and Canada, no other countries are currently present in the shipping to list. Hopefully we are soon going to see the Seek Thermal camera accessory also available worldwide as the price for the device along with the very good specifications that it has, at least on paper, make it really an affordable and interesting solution for a lot of users around the world.
When we are talking about a thermal camera that is designed to be used together with a smartphone or a tablet we presume that it needs to be a low-end and affordable solution. Well, that is not always the case as we can see with the Therm-App from the Israeli company Opgal. The main goal of the Therm-App accessory for Android mobile devices is to turn smartphones into powerful thermal cameras, featuring high-resolution thermography and long range, enhanced night vision capabilities. The Therm-App comes with a thermal imager with a resolution of 384×288 pixels that previously was only available on standalone professional thermal imaging cameras and thermography devices. The lightweight and compact Therm-App device fits multiple phone models. It can also be mounted on any tripod or camera handle using its standard connector. With its interchangeable lenses system, the Therm-App device provides effective detection of faraway targets through its long range (19mm) lens, and a wider view through its 6.8mm lens. Its 8.7Hz FPS version is export license free. The only thing that you might not like much about this accessory is the price, it is currently available for $1600 USD, though for the resolution and features it offers you canot expect it to be very cheap.
– Resolution: 384×288 pixels (>110k pixels)
– Spectrum: LWIR 7.5 -14um
– Enhanced Vision: High-resolution thermal imagery (grayscale day/night vision) NETD <0.07°C - Color temperature mapping: 5°C to 90°C - Available palettes: Rainbow, Iron, Grayscale - Lens And FOV: 19mm lens (19 x 14⁰) - Frame Rate: 8.7Hz - Operating Temperature: -10°C to +50°C (-4°F to +122°F) - Power Supply: 5V over USB cable - Power Consumption: Less than 0.5W - Certifications: CE, FCC - Device Attachment: Clip-on for smartphone (5-10cm span) - Mobile Platform Support: USB OTG (On The Go) compatible devices - Mobile OS Compatibility: Android 4.1 and up - Recording And Sharing: Therm-App Smartphone App plus any sharing App
Specifications wise there is one important thing worth mentioning that can be considered as a bit of a disadvantage – the temperature range that the thermal camera accessory can detect. The operating range of just 5 to 90 degrees Celsius is pretty limiting and with a larger resolution thermal imaging sensor we kind of expected to see a wider detection range available as well, especially considering the price of the Therm-App device. Other than that the device does look pretty cool with its design allowing the user to also swap lenses depending if a longer or shorter detection range is required – based on the kind of use you are planning to go for. The sample thermal images captured with the high resolution thermal imaging sensor do look very nice in their original resolution and with some interpolation they they be perfect for use for visualizations and thermal reports, that is if the temperature range of the Therm-App is enough for your needs.
The Mu Optics Thermal Imager was a project for an affordable thermal camera with the resolution and software capabilities to make it useful to normal people is the form of a smartphone accessory. The project was launched and successfully funded at the end of March 2013, however the development was just recently cancelled by the people behind the project. Back when the project was announced the specs of the device looked pretty nice for an affordable thermal imaging accessory for smartphones or tablets as in 2013 the market was not attacked by many similar devices like it is now. The Mu Optics thermal camera accessory was supposed to come with a 160×120 pixels thermal imaging sensor, be able to detect temperatures in the range of -66 to 90 degrees Celsius, supporting Android and iOS mobile devices and come with a price tag of $325 USD.
Last year these specs looked really good, but now there are already a few products available on the market with similar specifications or even better and with similar price or lower. The cancellation of the project was announced citing precisely the competition that is already available on the market, though we would’ve still liked to the the Mu Optics thermal camera available. Even if it was only available to backers of the crowdfunding campaign that the project had last year and it got funded by almost 2000 people with many more showing interest in the product after that. Anyway, it was a bit of disappointment to see the project getting cancelled as it was apparently already close to the final product being ready for production. Do note that the official website of Mu Optics does not have a mention about the project getting cancelled, the information was published on their IndieGoGo project campaign website only!