Published on September 9th, 2015 | by Greg0
Seek’s Thermal Camera For iOS: Identify Hot Spots
During the summer, thermal leaks can be an issue, with your air conditioner working overtime to keep your apartment cool. But the bigger issues come with winter, when it can be critical to seal your house or room against the wind and snow. Insulation and dual-paned windows help maintain your environment, but all the patches in the world won’t help if you cannot identify just where to put them. Pipes and vents, ducts and doors- there are a million ways for air to sneak in or out.
The Seek Compact Thermal Camera is an accessory that might seem a little out there at first, but quickly proves it’s usefulness. Available in two configurations for Android (via micro-USB) or newer iOS devices (via the Lightning connector), the Seek is uniquely handy. And it’s not just for contractors or maintenance- you can use it wherever heat detection might be helpful. You might not find yourself looking for heat signatures in the darkness very often or wishing you had infrared vision, but it gives your phone a superpower of sorts and it works in sunlight or at night. The range that the Seek can detect is incredibly broad, from -40° up to 626° Fahrenheit, though it doesn’t include a traditional camera or imaging sensor so you’ll have to use a bit of imagination if you’re simply trying it out.
The terms “Vanadium Oxide Microbolometer” and “Chalcogenide Lens” might not mean much to you, but all that matters is that it’s very easy to basically plug and play with the Seek Compact. Download the free app and you’re ready to go, and you can record videos or take pictures too along with live viewing. It’s sensitive and accurate enough to use for low-level medical uses, as you’ll be able to detect elevated skin temperatures, and automatic calibration is simple. You’ll want to stand a little bit away from your subject, because the field of view is pretty narrow and initial impressions can seem fuzzy, but in a couple of minutes you’ll have it all figured it. The more expensive version includes a variable focus and longer range, but we rarely missed those (but they definitely would have been our top feature requests).
The Seek Compact is a little bulky, and using it means changing the way you hold your phone. Also, it may not work with all phone cases, but we had no issues with needing to remove ours). A carrying case is included, and we definitely suggest storing it safely when not in use. The Seek Compact will drain your battery life pretty quickly, but you’ll barely notice if you are simply doing a quick sweep or figuring out how warm your cat is. If you’ve ever wanted to pretend to be Predator or easily win your next hide and seek game, the Seek Compact might be your new best friend. It’s available now, online and in stores, for around $250.