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Seek Thermal turns your iPhone into a thermographic camera

Seek Thermal

There’s no shortage of camera accessories for the iPhone these days with interchangeable mount lenses and countless apps for mastering smartphone photography, and now you can buy Seek Thermal’s smartphone attachment to transform your iPhone into an actual thermographic camera. Seek Thermal is a thermal camera with a true thermal sensor that connects to your iPhone through the Lightning connection with a chalcogenide lens and vanadium oxide microbolometer. What does all of that mean? Your iPhone can detect heat and energy through darkness and physical surfaces, and not with fake filters or trickery.

The Seek Thermal camera attachment is an actual infrared camera that reads light past the visible light spectrum. Here’s how Seek Thermal describes the accessory:

You can now have the power to see the unseen. This true thermal imaging camera detects infrared light that all objects emit, and uses the data from over 32,000 thermal pixels to create a visible image on your iPhone. In broad daylight or complete darkness, you can now be aware of your surroundings. The possibilities are endless.

Aside from the novelty of owning a thermal camera that interfaces with your iPhone, Seek Thermal describes a few practical use cases:

Safety and Security: Scan a dark parking lot before heading to your car; scan the yard before investigating strange noises.

Home Improvement: Identify leaky windows and doors, insufficient insulation, and other sources of energy loss; trace water damage up a wall or across a ceiling to its source; and identify the location of clogs in pipes.

Pet Owners: Scan the yard for predators before letting your dog out at night; find your dog or cat in the dark.

Cooking: Measure the heat distribution across your BBQ or griddle; instantly measure the surface temperature of food; detect the propane level in your tank.

Boating: Detect and locate objects on the water at night.

For iPhonographers and gadget enthusiasts, the price point of the Seek Thermal camera is also interesting. Rather than requiring thousands of dollars for getting into the thermal camera game, Seek Thermal transforms your iPhone into a thermographic cam for $199. That’s cheaper than a similar accessory in the form of an iPhone 5 case we saw at CES this year.

The company is also inviting developers to request access to Seek Thermal’s developer kit for making apps that take advantage of the cam.

The device works with iPhone 5 and up (including the new iPhone 6 models), the company says, and can be used with iPad mini/iPad 4 and up as well. Seek Thermal can be bought from the company’s online store and is expected on Amazon as well.


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  1. That’s pretty badd-a

  2. bicoid - 9 years ago

    IR-Blue did a successful Kickstarter last year for a similar iPhone addon for visualizing IR/heat. I have one and it’s done a great job.

  3. weakguy - 9 years ago


  4. herb02135go - 9 years ago

    While I’m not familiar with this company and some of the described uses seem odd, thermal imaging is useful.

    For example, locating electrical system issues that are generating extensive heat.
    No doubt some loser with an iPhone will use this for poaching, eventually.

    I wonder if you will be able to shoot IR video and take photos, other than screen shots?

    Let the paranoia-fest begin!

  5. swanamaker - 9 years ago

    I ordered one from the day they announced it. The purchase price is comparable to a one-day rental of a Flir! I think this will kill Flir.
    The thing they didn’t mention was that they aren’t actually shipping anything yet. They also don’t say exactly when they will. That is frustrating!
    The order confirmation email has a broken link to check the status of your order:
    Their web site also has lots of broken links like “Legal”. This does not inspire confidence.

    Also, be careful if you order from their web site. They have different models for Android/iOS. The web site was zoomed so large that I didn’t notice two, and I accidentally ordered the Android version. I emailed them and they fixed that for “when we ship”.


Avatar for Zac Hall Zac Hall

Zac covers Apple news, hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour podcast, and created