There’s a myth that we have the space race to thank for the non-stick frying pan. In fact, Teflon, the substance that ensures your breakfast didn’t stick to the pan this morning was discovered decades before that giant step.
It is true though, that technology trickles down, from big business, from professional users and yes, even from space. Things like invisible braces and scratch resistant sunglasses all have heritage in serious scientific research and, so does thermal imaging.
I wasn’t quite sure what I would actually use this curious device, the Flir One Thermal Imaging Camera, for but I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to test something that would essentially bestow superpowers on me and allow me to see in the dark.
The Flir One is actually two cameras in one. Thermal images are eerie and colourful but they don’t portray much detail of the objects filmed. Fair have added a second conventional camera that captures detail and using patented technology the images are blended together to create a thermal image, but one that’s far more useful and informative to the user.
The camera itself is the same width and depth as my iPhone but less than an inch in length. Unboxing it reveals just two parts to the kit, the camera unit itself and a flexible rubber casing for safe keeping when you pack it away.The Flir One has its own battery, so it doesn’t drain your phone battery and it’s efficient, as a full charge of the Flir has lasted me almost a week of sporadic photography.
The camera attaches to the Lightning socket on the bottom of the iPhone and is light enough at less than three ounces and small enough to be almost unnoticeable. The camera attaches both front and rear facing and after the simple installation I downloaded the Flir One app from the App Store, launched it and it immediately found the camera and my iPhone screen lit up with a rainbow of thermal colours.