Monday, April 13, 2015

FLIR FX wants to be your security, dash and action cam all at once

FLIR is a name immediately associated with thermal vision cameras; and now it has a new camera that wants to be a security camera for you home (indoor or outdoors), a dash cam for you car, and an action cam for your adventures as well: the FLIR FX.

Let's start with the sad news: the FLIR FX isn't a thermal camera - as you'd probably imagine for a camera that will cost only $199 - thermal cameras still cost way more, and even the low cost thermal cameras add-ons for smartphones cost this much. Instead, FLIR wants to market this camera as an "all-in-one" approach to whatever you may need: home security, action cam, dash cam, you name it.

The FLIR FX is a Full HD cam with 160º view, WiFi, speaker and mic, IR LEDs, microSD (comes with a 8GB card), and has a internal battery allowing it to work up to 2h away from external power. You can double that by using its support, with an extra battery, doubling that battery life to 4h.

You can select what might trigger the camera to start recording: motion events, sound events, and even temperature; and there's a nice feature called RapidRecap that can condense hours or days of footage to a single instant, where every motion is overlapped and tracked with a timestamp. Useful to avoid sifting through hours of footage to see what or if anything moved.

The main concern is: does it really make sense to have such a versatile camera that can do "everything"? Are you really willing to pick up you home camera to place it in your car when you go out, defeating the purpose of keeping an eye on your home? And not to mention that you can buy both a pan-tilt surveillance camera and a dashcam for less than half its price. In any case, should you ever need a camera that can do all these tasks, you know the FLIR FX is available.

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