Cat, FLIR ready to unveil world's first thermal imaging smartphone

By Doug G. Ware  |  Feb. 18, 2016 at 3:43 PM
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WILSONVILLE, Ore., Feb. 18 (UPI) -- FLIR Systems, Inc., announced Thursday that it is contributing to the creation of the world's first thermal imaging smartphone.

The company said the Bullitt Group, a rugged smartphone maker, will incorporate FLIR's Lepton microcamera into the new Cat S60, which will be unveiled at the Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona, Spain, on Monday.

FLIR said its Lepton is the world's smallest, lightest, and lowest cost microbolometer-based thermal imaging camera.

"We're excited to partner with Bullitt to create the world's first smartphone with integrated thermal imaging," Andy Teich, President and CEO of FLIR, said. "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."

The Cat S60 has two cameras -- one a regular 13-megapixel version, and the other FLIR's Lepton.

"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," Peter Stephens, CEO of the Bullitt Group, said. "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."

The thermal camera visualizes heat and highlights temperature contrasts, PC Magazine said in a profile of the new smartphone. It can also measure surface temperature from a distance of up to 100 feet away.

Cat and FLIR envision the phone being primarily for utility workers and those in other rugged professions, PC Magazine said.

Cat, sometimes known better as Caterpillar, a staple in the construction industry, is a leading manufacturer of rugged smartphones.

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