FLIR Encourages Developers to Put Thermal Imaging to Creative Use

 
 
By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2015-09-22
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    FLIR Encourages Developers to Put Thermal Imaging to Creative Use
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    FLIR Encourages Developers to Put Thermal Imaging to Creative Use

    As this slide show demonstrates, an interest in FLIR Systems' technologies is expanding, including into construction, games and senior care.
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    FLIR Provides the World's Sixth Sense
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    FLIR Provides the World's Sixth Sense

    FLIR Systems' products change the way people interact with the world around them. The company delivers technologies that enhance perception and awareness, creating a virtual "sixth sense." FLIR brings these innovative sensing solutions into daily life through its thermal imaging systems, visible-light imaging systems, locator systems, measurement and diagnostic systems, and advanced threat detection systems.
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    FLIR Thermal Imaging Technology Spans Decades
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    FLIR Thermal Imaging Technology Spans Decades

    A pioneer in thermal imaging, FLIR was founded in 1978, originally providing infrared imaging systems that were installed on vehicles for use in conducting energy audits. Today, FLIR's systems and components are used for a wide variety of thermal imaging, situational awareness and security applications, including airborne and ground-based surveillance, condition monitoring, navigation, recreation, research and development, manufacturing process control and more. The company's OEM and emerging markets segment provides thermal imaging camera cores and components that are used by third parties to create thermal and other types of imaging systems.
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    FLIR ONE Brings the Power of Thermal Imaging to Consumers
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    FLIR ONE Brings the Power of Thermal Imaging to Consumers

    Last year, FLIR launched FLIR One, which connects to an iOS or Android mobile device to provide thermal images of minute temperature differences. With it, people can see in the dark, observe invisible heat sources, compare relative temperatures, and see through light fog and smoke. Once connected, FLIR One displays a live thermal image right on a phone's screen and can capture both still images and videos as well as panorama images and time-lapse videos. The FLIR One App, available for free at the Apple App Store and on Google Play, provides a user interface that makes it easy to collect and share thermal images.
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    FLIR Lepton Opens Thermal Tech to the Masses
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    FLIR Lepton Opens Thermal Tech to the Masses

    To bring the power of thermal imaging to makers and developers, FLIR's research and design group created the FLIR Lepton, a long-wave infrared imager that is 10 times less expensive than traditional thermal cameras. The first-generation FLIR Lepton packs a resolution of 80 by 60 pixels into a camera body that is smaller than a fingernail. This camera core will equip a new generation of mobile and handheld devices, as well as small fixed-mount camera systems, with thermal imaging capabilities. Lepton brings thermal imaging to a new generation of electronic devices for work, play and mission-critical applications.
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    Lepton, FLIR One Empower the Imagination of Developers, Makers
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    Lepton, FLIR One Empower the Imagination of Developers, Makers

    The FLIR Lepton has demonstrated that compact, cost-effective thermal imaging modules are achievable for consumer electronics applications. Micro-miniature low-cost thermal cameras can be used in applications that were unthinkable even a few years ago, including non-contact thermometers integrated into mobile devices, new gestural and thermal touch user interfaces, wearable spectrometers, Internet of things climate control and care devices, and people counting. The FLIR One offers developers an integrated Lepton-based platform from which to develop thermal imaging apps for Android and iOS devices.
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    FLIR One Developer Program Nurtures Thermal Imaging Innovation
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    FLIR One Developer Program Nurtures Thermal Imaging Innovation

    To jump-start the innovation empowered by Lepton and the FLIR One, FLIR launched a developer program to provide makers, developers and engineers all that they need to build thermal imaging apps. This includes Lepton and FLIR One software development kits for an Xcode or Android Studio project, with the libraries and application programming interface that let developers use Lepton-based devices, including the FLIR One, from their code. The program also supplies quick-start guides, developer videos, an online developer forum, a sample application as a model for how apps should be written and free technical support—all available at a comprehensive developer site at developer.flir.com.
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    Hot Guard Wearable Warns Visually Impaired and Children of Hot Items
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    Hot Guard Wearable Warns Visually Impaired and Children of Hot Items

    A London hackathon winner, the Hot Guard app is a Lepton-based smart wearable that could benefit the 285 million visually impaired people in the world. It also could potentially be used for hundreds of millions of very young children who can't yet read "Caution! HOT!" signs. The inspiration for this hack was a blind couple who love to cook, but for whom existing technologies aren't as safe as they should be. The old way involves Braille markings on the cooker hob, which unfortunately doesn't give them any indication if something's too hot or boiling over, or even if they're too close to flames. The developers adapted FLIR's Lepton lens and proximity sensors into a wearable that makes sounds when the wearer gets too close to a hot item.
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    Thermonitor Turns Phone Into Non-contact Baby Monitor
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    Thermonitor Turns Phone Into Non-contact Baby Monitor

    This London prize winner is an app that gives users the ability to turn their smart phone with a FLIR One into a non-contact baby monitor that reads and reports the baby's temperature and works in full darkness. Rather than as a diagnostic tool to determine the subject's actual temperature, this demo app could be used as a monitoring device to indicate an elevated temperature or to identify situations where the subject's temperature changes significantly over time.
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    MediFlir3D Takes Thermographic Medical Diagnostics to Third Dimension
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    MediFlir3D Takes Thermographic Medical Diagnostics to Third Dimension

    This London hackathon winner started with the premise that the current use of thermography for medical applications for diagnosis of diseases and ailments, such as screening passengers for Ebola at an airport, can be enhanced through the use of 3D thermal imagery. The hackathon team used four FLIR Ones to map thermal images from different angles and project them into a pyramid hologram through a display device. The set of four images were automatically sent from the FLIR Ones to an app designed by the team, which oriented and placed them into the correct containers for subsequent projection. For this particular hackathon, the team used a 21-inch monitor to display the 3D image, but the concept can be scaled to full-size holograms that would enable doctors to carry out detailed analysis and diagnostic procedures.
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    GameOpener Turns the User Into the Game Controller
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    GameOpener Turns the User Into the Game Controller

    This San Francisco hackathon winner used a Lepton thermal imaging sensor to detect motion, turning the user into the game controller and enabling an interactive gaming experience. Rather than using a handheld controller to control the movements of a game character—Sonic the Hedgehog, for example—players simply move their arms in the direction they want Sonic to go. The demo version of GameOpener allows players to change the way they interact with old-school Sega games, independent of the hardware provided by the game console manufacturer.
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    Infrapic Uses Heat Signature in Drawing and Guessing Game
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    Infrapic Uses Heat Signature in Drawing and Guessing Game

    For this San Francisco hackathon winner, the team wanted to create a drawing game that could be played on the go—for example, during a 20-minute wait for a table at a restaurant. The FLIR One camera allows for the game to be played on top of any smooth, nonreflecting surface and, because the players draw with their fingers, they don't even need a pen. At the start of each player's turn, the phone randomly generates a word, and the player sketches an image of the word with her or his fingertips, as in the game Pictionary. Then, the other player watches a video recording of the drawing and guesses the word.
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    Combining Thermal Imaging With Machine Learning to Aid Senior Care
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    Combining Thermal Imaging With Machine Learning to Aid Senior Care

    Members of a research team from Stanford University created an application that served as a proof of concept of how thermal imaging and machine learning can be combined into a system that would help senior care facilities provide improved care for the elderly. Thermal imaging is used to monitor residents in a non-invasive way to monitor their body positioning and movements, and machine learning is used to determine what they're likely to be doing—identifying, for example, when someone may have fallen down and needs assistance.
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    BulldozAIR Powers Collaboration on the Construction Site
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    BulldozAIR Powers Collaboration on the Construction Site

    A San Francisco hackathon winner, BulldozAIR is a mobile and Web app for the construction industry that helps architects, contractors and engineers collaborate better. At the core, it's a note-taking app that syncs plans, technical documents, tasks and collaborative notes between as many as 50 companies on a construction site. For example, site visitors need to inspect thermal leaks on-site. They use a tablet to take thermal pictures within collaborative notes and can sketch what needs to be done onto the pictures. They are able to set a priority level and assign a task to another collaborator who will receive the note. The collaborator uses the same app and replies in the same note. Finally, a Word report is automatically generated.
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    FLIR Preparing to Launch Online Hackathons
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    FLIR Preparing to Launch Online Hackathons

    The events hosted by FLIR in San Francisco and London gave local developers an opportunity to come together to learn and compete for prizes, but the events were limited to local developers or those able to travel. In the very near future, FLIR plans to launch a series of online hackathons that will enable developers around the globe to join the community and be part of the fun—and compete for prizes for the best FLIR One-based apps. These online events will give developers more time to develop and complete apps—and maybe even get them released on the Apple App Store or Google Play store—before submitting them online to the judges to be considered for cash prizes.
 

FLIR Systems' thermal, measurement and imaging technology is used for everything from airborne and ground-based surveillance to research and development, search and rescue, transportation safety, border and maritime patrol, environmental monitoring, and chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives (CBRNE) threat detection. The company recently branched into the consumer arena with the FLIR One, which turns iOS and Android devices into thermal imaging cameras, and the FLIR FX, a line of home-monitoring systems. Now, FLIR is taking the thermal imaging core of these consumer products, the FLIR Lepton, to makers, manufacturers and developers, to see where their imaginations take them. Smaller than a fingernail, Lepton is a long-wave infrared imager that is 10 times less expensive than traditional thermal cameras. Through the FLIR One Developer Program, developers have access to FLIR One with Lepton and software development kits to help them get started on projects. FLIR has even hosted hackathon events in San Francisco and London—with online events coming—that gave developers an opportunity to compete for prizes for the best FLIR One-based apps. This slide show presents details about FLIR's thermal imaging legacy and the company's thermal imaging technology program for developers, and highlights recent innovative projects.

 
 
 
 
 
Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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