Caterpillar unveils the world's first smartphone with an integrated thermal imaging camera

By midian182 ยท 17 replies
Feb 18, 2016
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  1. Ruggedized smartphones are usually considered fairly niche products that are aimed at those in industries such as construction or law enforcement, or any profession where the device is likely to take a hammering on a daily basis. Because of this, they don’t have the performance of many flagship smartphones, but they often come with unique features of their own. One example is the new Caterpillar S60, which sports a built-in Flir thermal imaging camera.

    Flir, which is one of the largest thermal imaging companies in the world, has integrated its Lepton sensor used in its thermal cameras into the body of the device, alongside a regular 13MP rear camera.

    The sensor is able to produce live images, measure surface temperatures, and can record both stills and video, although its resolution is limited to VGA (640 X 480). Cat suggests it could be used during search and rescue missions where people may be obscured by smoke, or for law enforcement to check tire temperatures.

    The S60 comes with Android Marshmallow and features a Snapdragon 617 processor. In addition to the 13MP rear camera, it also has a 5MP front-facing version, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of expandable storage, a 720p 4.7-inch display (with a peak brightness of over 500 nits) and a powerful 3800mAh battery.

    Closing off the device's microphone and earpiece openings make it waterproof down to just over 16 feet, where it can operate for up to an hour. This gives it the title of the world's most waterproof smartphone. Moreover, it can be used with both wet and gloved hands, and comes with a strengthened die cast steel frame that is designed to exceed the military’s 810G drop test specifications.

    Thanks to its reinforced body and 1mm thick Gorilla Glass 4 display, the S60 can be dropped onto concrete from over five-and-a-half feet and still be okay to use.

    The Cat S60 will be priced around $600 when it launches at the end of May.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,828   +633

    Neat, I knew someone with a previous model, he managed to break it within the first month, he was also very clumsy. Considering the price of a standalone thermal camera this isn't that badly priced, and the phone specs are not terrible either. The drop capabilities are a little lackluster unfortunately, my ballistic case can (apparently) survive drops of up to 7 feet. I would have expected it to withstand a drop from the second story of building, like in a construction site this was designed to be in.

    It would be a useful tool for finding heat (or AC) loss around the house, if it's sensitive enough it could be used it the automotive tuning industry. There's plenty of possibilities for a thermal camera, it's about time they make it affordable to the masses.
  3. lipe123

    lipe123 TS Evangelist Posts: 718   +236

    This looks awesome, I'd get one just for the heck of it :D
  4. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    "Broke it within the 1st month?" I think 'clumsy' is a bit of an understatement.
    Reehahs likes this.
  5. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    This device will be very handy in the construction/building business. I would have been quite happy to fork over the money for this device (even with it's relatively unimpressive internals) if only it existed when I really needed it. If I was still in the construction business I would run out right now, plonk down my moolah and buy it.
  6. DJMIKE25

    DJMIKE25 TS Addict Posts: 174   +68

    I agree. Considering the prices of Thermal imaging devices, I think this could be a pretty good seller in the construction field. Great niche item.
  7. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,828   +633

    It got broken the first time while he was long boarding, it was still usable, till it got run over by a bus. Lesson, don't be clumsy while waiting for the bus. :p

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,256   +454

    I don't think the thermal resolution is 640x480 as written in this article, I'm sure the image is being upscaled, which then is of course being upscaled again to 720p for the display. These Lepton sensors only have a resolution of 80x60 pixels. Frankly quite low, especially when compared to the 206x156 resolution on the Seek Thermal brand thermal cameras. Just buying a $300 smart phone and a $250 Seek Thermal camera already has you a cheaper solution. Although without the water proofing and ruggedness. But $600 is a pretty decent deal for this... I may have to pick one up.
    Reehahs likes this.
  9. Technician

    Technician TS Addict Posts: 677   +114

    Nice, now you don't need to mod your phone to get this functionality anymore.
  10. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    I'm not even going to ask how it got run over by a bus... I'm truly surprised this guy is still alive.
    cartera and RebelFlag like this.
  11. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    The resolution would've unimportant to me, just as long as I could've made out what was going on. Do you know how difficult and time consuming it is to pinpoint water/gas leaks in walls, underground etc? This device would've been a godsend to me but I don't need it nowadays anyway.
  12. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,307   +429

    Yea, You can see if she is hot or just looks that way
  13. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,726   +3,700

    Lets see! How can Apple file a patent lawsuit against this phone? I'm waiting for the headlines now.
  14. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 3,343   +1,987

    With the cheapest Flir camera coming in at $25,000 this is one heck of a bargin, especially for those in the home and mold inspection business .... not sure if this will tell you how "hot" your date is, but it's a nice conversation starter .... or ender, depending upon her open mindedness ..... !!
  15. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,286   +902

    #Correction: The cat link is not working.

    Awesome phone, nice specs and great utility, think in maintenance also, normally pieces that are on their end of life tend to generate more heat, this has a huge array of posibilities.
  16. year Apple would have "invented" this tech and would have been granted all the pertaining patents after which they would have gone sue crazy.

    wow..talking about the future in past tense form is confusing! :p
  17. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,828   +633

    The last I heard from him he was long boarding down a hill, almost got run over by a truck but dodged it to take a guard rail, broke a couple ribs, fracture some other things. Fortunately he did not have his phone on him so it didn't get damaged this time. Lucky to be alive is an understatement.
    Skidmarksdeluxe likes this.
  18. seefizzle

    seefizzle TS Evangelist Posts: 337   +199

    Apple has a patent on non-square computing devices

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