New FLIR One Smartphone Accessory: The Tool That Grants Superpowers



Well the FLIR One showcases at least one superpower and that is the ability to see infra-red images.  I have several FLIR cameras myself from the old FLIR One to security cameras and even a military grade camera on the front of one of my cars.  (It can keep you from meeting a deer or unlit bicyclist at speed on a dark road at night).  This week FLIR released a new FLIR One that addresses one of the big problems with the earlier product.  That first offering only worked on one phone the iPhone 5.  The new FLIR One will work on all current iPhones and an Android version is due in July.   Cost is $250 for the new one (if you have an iPhone 5 lying around you can buy the old one for $150 which is a smoking good deal for as long as they last). 

FLIR - Infrared

What infrared does is it allows you to see relative heat and cold.  So if you have an air conditioner that is cooling or heating your attic or basement when it should be heating your house you can find and fix the leaks.  If you have a pipe that is broken in your wall you can find and fix it too, and it can find leaks in windows, doors, walls, and may even be able to see someone hiding behind a wall waiting for you if you have one of those spouses who likes to hear you scream and have a Depend’s adult diaper moment.    

The problem with Infrared is that it creates a very blurred picture so alone it isn’t as much help as it could be.  But the FLIR camera addresses this by connecting a regular camera so that you can see the infrared image superimposed over an actual picture so you can tell what you are looking at. 

The camera pugs onto the charging/accessory connector on the bottom of your phone, you load an app, and off you go.   Granted there are other things you can do like make everyone you shoot a picture of look like Zombies and I personally think it would make one hell of a Vampire detector (Vampires don’t have body heat) but the FLIR folks, when I mention this, just look at me knowingly and wink suggesting there is likely something I don’t want to know about vampires.  

I’ve used my FLIR camera to find leaks in my car’s cooling system, and to check the temperature of surfaces for the most part so it is a regular part of my car hobbyist tool kit. 

Wrapping Up:  FLIR One

The FLIR One is simply a handy tool that can be used to find a number of problems in your home, office, or even data center (you can see hot spots in storage and server racks for instance).   It is a tool I’ve found invaluable and now it actually works with a wider range of phones.  Check it out.   



Rob Enderle

Rob Enderle covers a wide array of technology companies and related industry topics and is frequently contacted by the media for his opinion on breaking news and other happenings in the technology realm. He has been labeled one of the most quoted technology analysts in the media.


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