Posts Tagged ‘thermal imager


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.


The FLIR Lepton thermal imaging sensor is a smaller resolution (80×60 pixels) and affordable priced sensor designed for use in mobile devices providing an affordable thermal imaging capabilities. This is the thermal imaging sensor that is used by FLIR in their FLIR ONE thermal imaging accessory for the Apple iPhone 5 and 5S. The DIY and hardware hacking community has already worked up on a solution to use the FLIR Leptopn sensor along with a custom developed breakout board for various projects. But since FLIR does not sell single units separately, but takes only large orders for the sensors it is hard to get a Lepton sensor to experiment with. One way to do so is to buy a FLIR ONE disassemble the device and take out sensor, the alternative is to go for a group buy. There is a GroupGet campaign for the FLIR Lepton Thermal Camera Core currently running that can help you get a single or a few units for $207.60 USD each and you can also get a breakout board for $45 USD each. This will allow you to interface the Lepton thermal imaging sensor to a custom controller and add thermal imaging capabilities to a project you are working on such as a robot or a drone for example.

For more information on the GroupGet campaign for the FLIR Lepton sensors…


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!