Thermal Imaging Camera Competition (FLIR ONE vs SEEK Thermal)

Hey guys i have been keeping an eye on the thermal imaging market trends.  Recently FLIR launched their new thermal imaging camera for the iphone 5!!  Thermal cameras traditionally sell for thousands of dollars for even an entry level unit but with the introduction of the FLIR ONE thermal camera these prices are being challenged.  The FLIR ONE is designed for the iphone 5 and retails for $350.  Well now FLIR has some competition!!  Seek thermal has just launched (9/25/2014) there thermal imaging camera for android and iphone which will retail for $200.  Some specs  of each below.....


  • Fits iphone 5 and 5s only (it is designed to mount to a supplied i phone cover)
  • Thermal image resolution???? (uses their Lepton thermal camera)
  • Uses FLIR's thermal mixing (basically its the thermal image with a visible light image overlay to better outline the actual image)

Seek Thermal:

  • Available with either a standard iphone connector or with a micro USB connector (see their website for compatibility)
  • Thermal image resolution:  206 x 156 Array (uses the Vanadium Oxide Micro Bolometer)
  • 32136 pixels
  • No thermal mixing as in the FLIR ONE 


Seek Press Release:

Views: 45207

Comment by Gary McCray on September 26, 2014 at 4:19pm

Hi Brian,

The Seek camera is really interesting and truly inexpensive for an actual thermal camera of that high a resolution. 

I think the Flir 1 is only 60 x 80, but they make it look higher by the way they mix it with your cell phones video,

It would be nice if the Seek could interface to something other than tablets and phones.

Probably the developer SDK would be useful on the USB - Android model. but I signed up and there was no information at all.

From their videos it seems the response rate is very high so the Seek could be a true breakthrough for us.

The Flir 1 is reputed to be quite slow in addition to very low resolution.

I look forward to learning more about the Seek SDK when they actually make it available.

Best Regards,


Comment by Randy on September 26, 2014 at 6:37pm

Very interesting!  I guess this could be very useful for search and rescue although I'm unsure how long the range is.

Comment by Gary McCray on September 26, 2014 at 6:57pm

Hi Randy, I think for our use, the trick is going to be to adapt it to a real RC video type transmitter system, WiFi from a cell phone isn't going to cut it although the actual cell phone link might in some cases.

Basically it has a USB output so you'd need an appropriate microcontroller, BB Black or Odroid perhaps, which output video to a RF transmitter.

The fact is the SEEK is so cheap for the resolution and speed it provides it should be well worth the effort.

All other thermal cameras in this resolution and speed range are way North of a thousand dollars.

It really is a serious breakthrough.

Of course if you didn't want FPV but just wanted to record, you could simply stick it on your cell phone and point it at the ground.

Comment by John Hestness on September 26, 2014 at 7:17pm

I just ordered a SEEK android.  Will report back whether it works as claimed.

Comment by armen t on September 26, 2014 at 7:37pm

@John Hestness 

Did it give you an estimated date of delivery?

i couldnt find that on their site

also its $199. total? tax included? and only the fed-ex ground option?

sorry for all the questions.... its just sooo close i can almost taste it. lol

Comment by Jack Crossfire on September 26, 2014 at 9:26pm

Pity the fools who wasted their lives hacking point & shoots for IR.  Even these are trash compared to the 60fps HD ones coming from China next week. 

Comment by armen t on September 27, 2014 at 1:31am

where did you see that? i think for $200 its a slick addition to any android or iphone. 

i dont think china will be bringing  60fps in thermal imaging here any time soon. and if they do then ill take 2.

hey maybe it will be in 4k


Comment by Foxzilla on September 27, 2014 at 2:11am

They only seem to ship to US and Canada :(

Comment by Gary Mortimer on September 27, 2014 at 10:26am

armen t Its always a plan to listen to Jack. If China decides 4k thermal is a good idea it will be here before Christmas. Thermal is very yesterday hardly looking at the spectrum.

Comment by Gary McCray on September 27, 2014 at 11:05am

Interesting thought Gary,

But it does bring up the possibility of now being able to inexpensively obtain truly multispectral images Visible, Near and Far IR at least and UV should be doable too.

I'm sure for the Ag people that will be really useful, but  probably a whole lot of other uses as well.

We're going to need bigger computers.


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