Seek Thermal Turns Your Android Phone/Tablet Into A Thermal Imaging Camera

Written by Michael Larabel in Peripherals on 29 January 2016. Page 1 of 3. 16 Comments

If you have ever wanted a thermal imager to get an idea for the hottest areas of your PC, look how to improve the thermal efficiency of your server room or house, or other purposes, you've likely noticed how thermal imagers are generally quite expensive. A lower-cost solution that's also very versatile is the Seek Compact Thermal, which can attach to your Android smartphone or tablet and turn it into a thermal imaging solution paired with the ease of use of being able to save the captured video or still images to your device.

The Seek Compact Thermal Imager is a small camera that attaches to your phone/tablet via the USB OTG port and when paired with their free software is a fully-fledged thermal imaging solution. There's also an iOS version of the device available as well to plug into your iPhone or iPad rather than Android device. The Seek Compact has a 206 x 156 thermal sensor, a reported viewable distance of up to 1,000 feet, a 36-degree field-of-view, a detectable thermal range of -40F to 626F, and can work in broad daylight or complete darkness.

The Seek Thermal Compact for Android retails for about $250 USD while for $300 is the CompactXR that expands the viewable distance to 1,800 square feet but only a field of view of 26 degrees.

I've been trying out the Seek Thermal Compact the past few days for better understanding the thermal layout of the basement server room, look for any energy efficiency improvements to make, etc. The Seek Thermal Android software allows changing the color palette, taking spot temperatures, easily record videos/pictures, and much more.

For testing out the Seek Thermal Compact I've been using a Google Nexus 7 Tegra tablet running Android Marshmallow. It's been working out fine, though you'll almost certainly want to pickup a micro-USB extension cable for the device. The default orientation of the camera relative to the USB port for most devices actually has it facing towards you (if looking at the device's screen) rather than away. Having a short USB extension cable fixes this issue and makes using the camera more versatile.

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