$150 Open-Source Attachment Turns the iPhone into a Thermal Imaging Camera

Modder Andy Rawson needed an easy way to find air leaks in his 100-year-old house in order to improve its energy efficiency. Not wanting to spend thousands of dollars on a thermal imaging camera, he decided to go the DIY route. He built a box containing a 64-zone temperature sensor, and managed to connect the device to his iPhone via the dock. By overlaying the temperature data onto the iPhone’s camera display, the $150 attachment instantly turns the iPhone into a cheap thermal imaging camera.

Here’s what the device looks like:

Using the app, the display can be adjusted to show different temperature ranges. Numeric readings can also be added into each zone instead of just one of them.

Here’s a demo video shows the camera in action:

Rawson says that he’s planning to manufacture and sell these attachments for $150 each so that others can use thermal imaging to save money and energy at home. The app for iPhones is already completed, and he’s working on an Android version as well.

Finally, he’s also planning to open source the entire project, so if you’d rather build one than buy one, you’re in luck!

(via Rob Hopeless via Engadget)

  • chris

    very cool

  • Anthony Burokas

    I want one now!

  • trialex

    or hot, depending on how you look at it :-)

  • 4dmaze

    The kid’s only 82º? Doesn’t seem very accurate.

  • Chris

    It is not going to be accurate at all. As an example, it is averaging the pixels over the kids whole face (and some of the background falloff) and reporting that. This is going to be far less accurate that a $99 temp reader from the hardware store.

  • Mark

    An inexpensive temp reader also has a pretty wide range / angle. This is very visual. I like it and you have to give a couple ataboys to this guy.

  • tryharder

    Skin temperature isn’t 98.6°F, it depends on your environment. 82° is a reasonable skin temperature for a child in an indoor environment.

  • tryharder

    Most people don’t use point, click, and read non-contact thermometers very well and would have a tough time doing any sort of a home energy audit with one. Theyre also easy to find for a whole lot less than $99.