My colleague Max Whitby wanted me to get him a Seek Thermal XR camera for complicated reasons of international trade and finance (cheaper to ship to Illinois and have me bring it to London in my suitcase). It looked like a cool thing so I decided to get one for myself too. Best $299 I've spend in a long time!
It's a true thermal imaging camera, completely insensitive to visible light and able to quantitatively measure the temperature of each pixel in its sensor (206x156 pixels). And it's about the size of two dominoes, connects to the bottom of your phone (iPhone or Android), and opens your eyes to a world of fun.
The first time I tried it out I thought, hey, it would be a cool premise for a horror movie if some guy was lying in bed in a pitch dark room playing with his thermal imaging camera, when suddenly he saw a bright glowing shape in the corner of the room! AAAAAHHH! Instant terror! Then I thought, hm, I happen to be lying in bed in a pitch dark room playing with a thermal camera, maybe I'd better check out the corners of the room. (The package had been waiting for me when I arrived late last Friday night, so the first real chance I had to play with it was when I was already in bed checking email one last time....)
AAAAAHHH! Ohhh! I have hot water radiators for heat. One of them is in the corner of the room.
It is a gateway to the lava pit we keep in the basement.
The camera does videos too! Here is one of my son eating a sausage. I'm not sure he will forgive me for posting this.
Here are two videos of a stream of warm water entering a pool of cold water. I deny all knowledge of how these were made or what the liquid is.
Ha! take that Hennig Brandt! (And if you get that reference, I still deny everything.)
It also works on cats (notice the incredibly cold nose!):
And girlfriends who want proof that their feet are super-cold:
Most glass and plastic does not transmit deep infrared light very well, so glasses are cold. That means people wearing glasses look like they are wearing cool shades. And have cold noses.
About the only problem with it is that if you leave the very nice plastic storage case it comes with on a table that's being used to prepare a periodic table quilt, and it accidentally gets left in between the layers of fabric and batting when the quilt is loaded into your quilting robot, the machine will stitch around the case, trapping it inside the beryllium square and jamming the machine. I hate when that happens.