We finally broke down and bought an infrared camera (its for work, I swear). The Seek thermal camera is (I think) the first to market for android devices. You just plug it into the usb port, and use the app and device/phone display to operate the camera.
Naturally, Kevin was playing with it 5 minutes after it arrived. The colors auto-scale to whatever the camera is looking at, so each color does not represent an absolute temperature, just the relative temperature within that shot. Here is Cody and his cold nose:
When I got home from my ski trip, we both though this photo of me with a cup of hot tea came out pretty neat:
And finally, something sort of useful, one of the generators. This is a horizontal axis generator that is probably from around the 1930’s (we’re not sure, the guess is based on the few details we know plus the insulation type). It is about 9 feet in diameter.
The image a bit on the low resolution side, but is also not a very expensive camera, and you don’t really need very high resolution for looking at temperatures. The software/app also leaves something to be desired by lacking a few features that would make the camera really useful, and a legitimate replacement for a stand-alone infrared imaging device. It doesn’t display the temperature scale, either while using the camera, or on the output image. It will display the absolute temperature a few specific points, but that’s not really enough. It also doesn’t let you manually set a scale; since it always auto-scales, its hard to do before and after or comparison shots of the same thing, to look for changes over time. Its so close to being a legitimate tool, rather than just a fun toy. The hardware itself is fine, and at a really good price point. It just needs better software. I hope we’ll be able to download an update soon.