This hack turns your iPhone into a cheap thermal imaging camera

[Credit: Andy Rawson]

You’ve probably seen thermal imaging cameras used on The Weather Channel to show just how boiling hot it is outside, or on MythBusters to capture a thermal reaction. These visual temperature sensors aren’t just cool, they can also be useful for cooking, but most are too expensive for spontaneous home use.

As PetaPixel relays, modder Andy Rawson was in a similar predicament when he needed an easy way to spot air leaks in his 100-year-old home before the coming winter. Instead of spending $1000 to $2000 for a professional thermal imaging camera, he made his own DIY version for $150.

Rawson built his own thermal imaging camera using a box equipped with a 64-zone temperature sensor that attaches to his iPhone via the dock connector. The attachment overlays thermal information atop the iPhone’s video camera feed to give you an instant visual and numerical temperature readout.

Rawson says that he plans to sell these attachments for $150 each to other potential thermal imaging enthusiasts. He's also developed an app for iOS, with an Android version on the way.

On the DIY front, Rawson is going to release the whole thing as an open source project, and he'll post the hardware specs and code on his website soon so you can make one on your own.

Would a thermal image sensor be useful for you? Leave a comment.

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