FLIR’s ONE thermal camera for the iPhone was a pretty nifty gadget when it launched this past summer. But because it arrived in the form of a case for the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s, it became obsolete almost immediately as the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus arrived last week.
If you’re still in the market for a mobile thermal imaging camera but don’t want to spend $349 on the proprietary, outdated FLIR ONE or thousands more for a professional model, perhaps the new Seek thermal camera will fit the bill.
This add-on camera connects to your Android or iOS device via micro USB or Lightning connector. It uses a custom 12-micron sensor chip developed in conjunction with Freescale and Raytheon that detects infrared light and uses the data from over 32,000 thermal pixels to create a visible image on your smartphone.
There are a few shortcomings with the Seek thermal camera that you might want to be aware of. For one, don’t expect jaw-dropping HD images as it’s only capable of producing a final image of 832 x 624 pixels and it must be used with the companion app. It's also small enough that it could easily be misplaced.
While immensely cool (especially at just $199), this add-on will likely be considered a novelty item for most. Firefighters, law enforcement and the military rely on higher-quality thermal imaging cameras but for the average handyman or contractor on a budget, this could be a real asset that won’t break the bank.