FLIR's Latest Thermal Camera

FLIR’s Latest Thermal Camera Gives Your Phone a Snap-on Heat-vision Upgrade

Do you remember when smartphones only had one back camera? Take or leave it: one lens, one sensor. To say that things have changed significantly since then would be an understatement, and today it is expected that a phone with a variety of features will have multiple cameras, including ultrawide, telephoto, and possibly variable optical zoom. Although we are still discussing cameras that can only record visible light for all of those options, isn’t that just so, like, narrow, man? With FLIR’s new One Edge Pro, your phone can start utilizing the vast electromagnetic spectrum and taking thermal images in the infrared.

With the FLIR One add-on cameras, FLIR, which has been manufacturing thermal cameras for ages, has recently turned its attention to the smartphone market in addition to its fancy industrial and defense systems. The FLIR One Pro thermal camera, which connected to the USB-C port on the bottom of your phone and allowed you to take measurements, capture thermal images, and perhaps even take on some challenging home maintenance tasks, was the subject of our hands-on experience. The company is now addressing some of the drawbacks we found with that previous model with the FLIR One Edge Pro.

The major modification is in the design; instead of attaching to the bottom of your phone, the Edge Pro grabs onto the back and holds in place with a spring-loaded arm, much like a selfie stick might hug your phone. In other words, the camera can now transmit data wirelessly to your phone without the need for a USB port. With all that wireless data, the battery life also receives an upgrade, and while we only saw a battery life of about an hour with the FLIR One Pro, the Edge Pro aims to double that.

The ability to detach the One Edge Pro from your phone and move it in difficult-to-reach spaces sounds like a major improvement, especially given that homeowners looking to identify insulation issues, overheating wires, or tracking down leaks will be a big use for a product like this. To get a remote view that streams to your phone, you can even hang it up and leave it in place.

However, not everything has been improved; the thermal image sensor still has the same 160 x 120 resolution as the One Pro and operates at a very slow frame rate. This new model may not reinvent the wheel, but that also means it does more of what we already liked — such as that cool “MSX” mode that overlays image data from the visible camera to make the thermal image much, much easier to read. Additionally, we have software updates to anticipate, such as guided modes for some of those home maintenance tasks.

Pricing might still be a problem; at $550, this model is considerably more expensive than the One Pro. Nevertheless, the usability improvements seem simple to appreciate, and if a tool like this prevents you from hiring a pricey contractor, it might just quickly pay for itself. Units should begin shipping closer to the end of the year after sales begin on November 10 both directly from FLIR and on Amazon.

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Source: Android Police

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