Thermal Camera Imaging Brought to Your Daily Life, See Things Like Never Before
FLIR has announced a new second generation of their Flir One thermal imaging accessory for smartphones and tablets, making it useable on wider range of devices and adding a version for Android OS as well. Originally the FLIR ONE was compatible with iPhone 5 and 5S only as it was made specifically to fit the form and size of these devices, but the new version comes in totally device independent design. The new FLIR ONE utilizes either a micro-USB connector for Android devices or a Lightning connector for iOS devices to offer a compact accessory that easily connects to a smartphone or tablet. The FLIR ONE is powered by an internal battery and utilizes FLIR’s latest generation Lepton thermal camera core, which features four times the resolution of the previous version. Images are further enhanced with FLIR’s patented multi-spectral dynamic imaging (MSX) technology, which embosses the edge details from FLIR ONE’s visible camera onto the thermal image producing high fidelity images.
Specifications of the new FLIR ONE:
– Scene temperature range: -4°F to 248°F (-20° to 120°C)
– Operating temperature: 32°F to 95°F (0°C to 35°C)
– Weight: 2.75 ounces, 32 grams
– Dimensions: L 2.8 inches (72mm) x W 1 inch (26mm) x H 0.7 inches (18mm)
– Battery capacity: 350 mA/h. FLIR ONE neither consumes power from the connected device battery, nor charges it. When inactive, FLIR automatically switches to low-power mode to maximize its battery life.
– Visible camera: VGA (used for FLIR MSX blending)
– Sensitivity: ability to detect temperature differences as small as 0.18° F (0.1° C)
– Charging method: micro-USB (Android) and lightning connector (Apple) paired with 1A wall charger
– Device compatibility: Android products containing a micro-USB and Apple products containing a lightning connector, including iPhone 6 and 6 plus, among others.
– Included accessory: charging cable (either micro-USB or lightning connector)
– Certifications and standards: Mfi (iOS Only) FCC, CE, RoHS, CAN ICES-3 (B)/NMB-3(B), UL
There are several areas where the new FLIR ONE is better than the first model. You apparently get a more powerful thermal sensor with four times the resolution for crisper and clearer thermal images (160×120 up from 80×60 of the old Lepton sensor). It also features automatic tuning, so there is no need to manually tune the device for optimum temperature detection. There is a new lighter-weight design that is less than a third the weight of the original. Also the temperature range has been increased with another 40 degrees, including support for minus temperatures that can be quite useful at times.
The second generation FLIR ONE comes with with an MSRP of $249.99 USD and should be available worldwide starting July for iOS devices, with the Android-compatible version to available in July. The first generation FLIR ONE for Apple’s iPhone 5/5s platform is now available at a reduced price of $149.99 USD down from the original price of $349.99 USD when it was launched last year.
Besides the FLIR ONE thermal imaging accessory for iPhone 5/5S there is another product from FLIR that uses the affordable Lepton micro thermal imaging sensor – the FLIR TG165 Imaging IR Thermometer. Note that FLIR calls this device an Imaging IR thermometer, but it is essentially a low resolution thermal camera with a bit limited functionality. What the device does is provide you with a thermal image with a resolution of 80×60 pixels with a center spot meter report of the temperature that you point it at, so you get the best of both worlds – a thermal image for more accurate measurements and a precise infrared thermometer in once device. Unlike a traditional spot only infrared thermometer with the FLIR TG165 you can also save thermal images just like with a thermal camera. It is not as functional and feature rich as a full fledged thermal imaging camera, but for the price of $499 USD you can really get a very powerful device for measuring temperature accurately.
FLIR TG165 Specifications:
– Basic Accuracy: +/- 1.5% or 1.5°C
– Temperature Range: -25 to 380°C, -13 to 716°F
– Emissivity: 4 Pre-Set Levels with Custom Adjustment, 0.1 to 0.99
– Dist. to Spot Ratio (D:S): 24:1
– Measurement Resolution: 0.1 °C / °F
– Response Time: 150 Milliseconds
– Spectral Response: 8 to 14μm
– Lasers: Dual Diverging Lasers, Frames Temp Measurement Area
– Imaging Detector: FLIR Lepton Microbolometer Focal Plane Array (FPA)
– Shutter: Integrated Automatic Shutter
– Image Resolution (H x W): 4800 Pixels (80 x 60)
– Spectral Response: 8 to 14μm
– Field of View (H x W): 50° x 38.6°
– Upper Scene Range: 127°C, 260°F (400K)
– Thermal Imaging Sensitivity: 150mK
– Frame Rate: 9 Hz
– Color Palettes: 2 (Grey Scale, Hot Iron)
– Saved Image Format: Bitmap (BMP) Image with Temperature and Emissivity
– Unit Size (H x W x D): 7.3 x 2.2 x 3.7 in (186 x 55 x 94 mm)
– Display Type: 2.0 in TFT LCD
– Display Resolution (W x H): 38720 Pixels (176 x 220)
– Battery: Rechargeable via Micro USB Lithium-ion Battery: 3.7V, 2600mAh
– Battery Life Hours: Typical Use Five 8-Hr Work Days; Continuous Use: 8 Hrs
– Memory: 8Gb Micro SD Card
Last year a workaround that included the modification of the software of the FLIR E4 entry level thermal camera has been discovered that allowed the users to get higher resolution and additional functionality available only in the top model of the series – the FLIR E8. It seems that the thermal imaging sensor used in the whole series was the same higher resolution one and it has been locked to lower resolution for the cheaper models from the series and the additional software features available in the higher-end models as well. FLIR has quickly addressed the “issue” by updating the firmware and selling new cameras with newer firmware version that did not allow the easy modification from users, but it seems that it might still be possible to unlock at least the resolution on E4 cameras with newer firmware. Meanwhile the “hack” was also extended to cover other models from the FLIR thermal camera range such as the FLIR i3/i5 that can be modified to i7 in terms of functionality or FLIR E30 to E60. If you are interested you can check the pretty long discussion with information and modification guides available on the EEVblog, but be warned that the process may not be easy for the average user as it involves some tinkering with the device and its software. If you are not sure you will be able to do it, then you better not even try as you may end up with unusable thermal camera that cannot be repaired under warranty, so be careful!