Thermal imaging for smartphones continues to take off

|By:, SA News Editor

Collaborating with Raytheon (NYSE:RTN) and chip maker Freescale Semiconductor (NYSE:FSL), startup Seek Thermal is planning to sell a thermal imaging add-on camera for smartphones for about ~$250 this fall.

The new add-on camera is bringing down the price for the cameras, which may ultimately become a built-in feature on many consumer products.

This past July, Flir Systems (NASDAQ:FLIR) introduced a $349 iPhone accessory that allows a smartphone's display to show glowing heat signatures of people, animals, lights and other objects.

Such technology is already used for many commercial purposes, such as detecting leaking hot-water pipes and overheating electrical devices, and the further advances in the field may lead cheaper thermal cameras to hit the mass market.