30 June 2016

REVIEW: Flir One

See the unseen.

Hey, hot stuff! No, we're not being creepy – you are hot. And when we say hot, we mean hotter than your surrounding environment; something we know all too well after playing around with a clever little add-on for your smartphone. Exploring the world in a very different way, we review the thermal imaging camera Flir One.

Just like the Seek Thermal we reviewed last year, the Flir One is a compact little gadget that plugs directly into your smartphone. It comes in two versions; iOS and Android (Lightning and Micro USB connectors) but is basically the same for both types, relying on the same app. Once charged up and plugged in, and with the app installed, you can use it to take 'thermies' as Flir say; photos of heat.

Unlike the thermal imaging camera we previously reviewed, the Flir One uses two separate cameras when snapping a picture; one that 'sees' the heat (or lack thereof), and one that picks out actual feature details. Because of this, you don't just see an item's temperature, but also make out it's shape in the real world, making the image much clearer.

The app allows you to both take photos and also capture video through the Flir One. There is also a great deal of choice of the mode of visuals, whereby the colours used to represent the different temperatures can be altered. As well as using the colour spectrum to show variances in heat, the 'hottest' and 'coldest' settings highlight the areas with the highest amount of difference – good for identifying drafts or heat leaks.

Speaking of leaks, the Flir One is a great tool to have for someone working in construction or safety. As it comes with its own rubberised carry case it can be dropped into your pocket or bag and retrieved when needed. For everyone else... well, its just a bit of fun, isn't it? Certainly we've enjoyed playing around with it, and we used it to look around in Test Pit Towers to find interesting spots. For example...

What the hell is this? There's a spot in our hallway that is perpetually cold; like a ghost was standing there or something. It isn't wet, nor is there anything sticky in the carpet or pipes below that spot, but there is a constant cold patch there. Really weird, and a bit creepy.

So if you're looking for something truly unique to do with your phone, this could be for you. Granted it is pricey (at the moment) but for someone working in an industry where it is important to make sure everything is working as it should, this is invaluable.


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