The FLIR One mounts to the back of an iPhone 5 or iPhone 5S and, in conjunction with an app, turns the phone into a pocket-size thermal-imaging device. A dual-camera setup makes the thermal image more usable: For example you can read text on it, which ordinary thermal imaging doesn’t allow, so you could see the name on the transom of a boat in low-light conditions. Or get a photo of someone’s nametag up close (shown). The trick is that the software combines the images from the camera and the thermal imager, in this case microbolometer called a Lepton. This tiny device, which FLIR spent $100 million to develop, can stretch out comfortably on the side of a dime, and may soon bring thermal-imaging capabilities to many more devices.
This article originally appeared in the April 2014 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.