Craft & Design
Alt.CES: Consumer thermographic video cam

altCES1.jpgAnnounced at this year’s CES, Flir‘s Scout gives consumers true thermographic vision — imaging based not on light but on heat. Flir is marketing the Scout to consumers but it’s hard to see Joe Sixpack wanting to drop $3K (MSRP) on one. Which is not to say it doesn’t have its obvious uses — for instance, a hunter could use it to follow a blood trail at dusk, or a homeowner could pinpoint heat leaks.

Built around Flir’s leading edge thermal night vision technology, Scout gives outdoor enthusiasts the power to see people, animals, and their surroundings clearly in total darkness, as well as through smoke, dust, and light fog. Scout uses a thermal camera to make video images from heat, not light, and displays this video on its built‐in LCD eyepiece.

In addition to providing improved visibility in almost every conceivable environmental condition, Scout enables hikers, campers, and hunters to keep track of other people in their party, find and track animals, and navigate safely and accurately even in total darkness.

10 thoughts on “Alt.CES: Consumer thermographic video cam

  1. FLIR already makes a lower-priced, temperature-calibrated camera (the i5) that is much more useful — if a little lower resolution — than the model demonstrated above for performing temperature-sensitive inspection work, and the i5 has been available on the market for a year or two now.

    That being said, I agree with the point about price; even at about $2000 USD, the i5 is still just a bit too big a bite for this homeowner to swallow in the interest of improving insulation in a 50-year old home.

    1. But renting a thermograph for 24 hours to check for heat leakage on your house is a no brainer. I imagine rented units is where you’ll see the majority of consumer use for this.

  2. While the article states that the camera does not use light but heat, it still receives signal in the form of photons albeit infrared frequency photons. The article attempts to separate heat and light, while they are very nearly the same phenomena, just different frequencies of light.

  3. Human skin temperature becomes visible! Mobs of armed, frightened suburbanites can scan passersby for signs of H1N1 infection (or attack anyone suffering from a bad cold w/fever.)

    Zombies with ambient-temperature skin will be detectable over thousands of feet. Vampires who cannot go outside in daytime will also have to remain indoors if camera-wielding neighbors are about. And disguised aliens wearing motorized human-shaped exoskeletons won’t be able to use the older cheap models lacking 40C heated surfaces.

    Once such cameras are common, advertising signs can have dual displays: the normal visible ads, plus the FLIR-only ad images made from warm wires embedded below the surface.

    And don’t forget, FLIR cams can see through certain types of plastic materials, if they’re thin enough. Better buy some guaranteed-opaque aluminized swimwear, just to make sure.

    1. They are already doing this in China. Going through customs there are IR cameras scanning the lines of people. I also saw them at some hotels as well.

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