Mobile Phone Case Gives iPhone 5 Heat Vision

The armed forces and law enforcement agencies in most Western countries rely on a system called FLIR (forward-looking infrared device) to locate threats and neutralize them. A similar system, called FLIR One, has now been developed to enable the iPhone 5 smartphones to effectively allow mobile phones detect heat signatures from the surrounding. FLIR One weighs a hefty 3.9 ounces – almost as much the iPhone 5 itself.

Thermal imaging operates by gathering infrared signatures coming off objects that are invisible to the human eye. That information is then converted into electrical impulses, which are then displayed on the device’s screen. The various heat levels are displayed as an array of colors, ranging from blue that indicate low levels of heat, to bright red and white for signatures that tend to be hotter.

The tech firm that has designed FLIR One, FLIR Systems, is looking for ways to share collected thermal imagery on social media through three of its already existing apps: IR One TimeLapse (which shows heat changes over time), FLIR One Paint and FLIR One Panorama.

FLIR Systems has designed FLIR One to run off of its own battery, claiming that the battery would last two hours before needing to be recharged. FLIR One currently costs $349.

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