Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Seek Thermal XR adds optical zoom to thermal vision

You might remember Seek Thermal as being one of the companies to promise an affordable thermal camera for our smartphones - and one that actually delivered a real product that anyone can buy right now. And now it steps it up once again, with a version including an optical zoom.

While most people don't really care much about zoom lens, Seek Thermal imaging sensor has a very low (206x156 pixel) resolution. And that means that as soon as you point it to something more than a few yeards away things will quickly get pretty bad. But with the new Seek XR and its optical zoom, you should have no problem checking thermal signatures as far as 2000ft.

This means the Seek XR will not only be useful to check out potential energy leak problemas (cold/hot spots, mechanical failures, etc.) but also used out in the wild to detect and identify animals, and all sorts of things that were "out of reach" for the original Seek Thermal camera.

On the other hand, it's also gets a substantial price hike, from $199 to $299, even though there's really nothing close at this price range (the FLIR One doesn't have a zoom lens, though I'm guessing it won't take them long to add one as well in response to this Seek XR).

For now it will have to do, but what we'd really like to see was Seek bringing us a higher resolution thermal sensor (at least 320x240). Maybe for next year's version?

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