FLIR's Lepton microcamera behind thermal smartphone


FLIR's Lepton microcamera behind thermal smartphone

British company Bullitt recently launched what it calls the "world's first" smartphone with a built-in thermal imaging camera. The Cat S60 smartphone is a 4.7″ 'rugged phone' that can withstand a fall onto concrete from 1.8 m and can survive for an hour underwater at a depth of 5 m.

The firm designs and manufactures the Android-based phone which then has the branding of construction equipment maker Caterpillar on it. Bullitt said that the lack of innovation in current smartphones will help its Cat S60, which will retail for $599, gain appeal among consumers.

At the core of the Cat S60 is FLIR's Lepton technology, claimed to be the world's smallest, lightest and lowest cost microbolometer-based thermal imaging camera.

With the ability to see in total darkness and visualise heat that is invisible to the naked eye, the Cat S60 allows users to measure surface temperature from a distance, detect heat loss around doors and windows, and spot moisture and missing insulation. The Cat S60 also takes advantage of FLIR's MSX technology, which embosses details from visible imagery onto thermal images, offering users more detailed and higher quality thermal imagery.

"We're excited to partner with Bullitt to create the world's first smartphone with integrated thermal imaging," said Andy Teich, president and CEO of FLIR. "FLIR has pioneered significant reductions in size, weight, power and cost of thermal cameras and the Cat S60 represents yet another application for our technology and offers it to new groups of users."

"To stand out from the crowd in today's smartphone market requires true innovation, and we are proud to partner with FLIR to announce what is truly a world's first," said Peter Stephens, CEO Bullitt Group, global licensee for Caterpillar. "The Cat S60 represents a milestone for smartphones. We are excited for thermal technology to be in the hands of Cat phones' customers and to discover the myriad of daily time and efficiency use cases it will present for them."

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