Nick Charlton

A weekend with a Flir ONE

I spent a couple of weekends back playing around with a Flir ONE, a thermal camera which attaches to a phone. I’d been working on a project which involved some gnarly drilling and was concerned I’d hit a pipe — it turned out as a good excuse to give one a go.

The Flir ONE device itself
The Flir ONE device itself

It’s a really neat device which worked well for my needs but is let down by some fairly average software. The model I used was a few years old (the newer ones have a much higher resolution) but this wasn’t a significant problem for my intended use-case. As an example of the things I found: the device would often disconnect whilst in use, sometimes during filming something which required stopping, resetting and starting again. The view would “flash out” completely; I wondered if this was a regular recalibration, but I couldn’t work out a consistent behaviour for it. Finally, the software just didn’t really follow iOS design affordances: lots of bits of UI which had no feedback or touch controls which were far too small.

Whilst I had it, I ended up taking a bunch of photos and some short videos of various things:

A thermal image showing the houses on my street, highlighting how windows
    leak so much heat
A row of houses, showing where windows leak so much heat
The FLir ONE device; a dongle which attaches to the bottom of an iPhone
The Flir ONE device itself, which attaches to the bottom of an iPhone
A thermal image showing my face
A selfie
My 3D printer bed heating up

I rented it for a weekend from someone locally using Fat Llama which worked out really well. I picked it up on Saturday morning and dropped it off on the Monday for £30. It was great fun to have for a weekend, but with some of the annoyances I don’t think I’d buy one.