Usage Impressions

The presence of a USB-C connector ensures that the FLIR ONE Pro is compatible with a wide range of Android phones. Like the previous generation FLIR ONE, the unit has an explicit button to turn the device on or off. The button includes a light indicator (flashing orange while booting up, green when active). The FLIR One app needs to be installed before thermal images or videos can be taken.

As mentioned in the previous section, the FLIR ONE Pro includes a 1440x1080 image sensor for capturing visible images. Even though the thermal sensor itself is only 160x120, FLIR's patented MSX blending algorithm combines the HD image from the image sensor with the thermal sensor's output. The result is a thermal image with a perceived resolution closer to that of the image sensor, rather than the thermal one. It must be noted that the number of radiometric data points in the result is still limited by the Lepton 3's resolution of 160x120.

The FLIR ONE Pro also includes additional signal processing technology (termed as VividIR in FLIR's marketing) to further enhance the image clarity. We found that the thermal images created by the FLIR ONE Pro were definitely of much better quality compared to what we got with the second generation FLIR ONE. But, it is not clear how much of that is due VividIR in particular.

The FLIR One Android App

The home screen of the FLIR One app is divided into four panes, with a direct link to the gallery of recorded media in the local device, and three links to online content. The drop down menu provides the more interesting options. The Camera menu takes us directly to the preview pane.

The viewfinder icon brings up the temperature meter. There are three different types (spot, rectangle, and circle), and users can create up to three of each. The flashlight icon turns on the phone's LED flash (useful for capturing visible and MSX images in dark environments). There is also a timer for triggering the capture (instant, 3s, and 10s are the available options).

Adjacent to the battery level indicator, we have an icon to trigger the shutter and clear the image data on the screen (I used it to get rid of apparent app glitches). Other options in the photo mode include the option to view either the visible image, blended MSX one, or the thermal image alone in the preview pane. The palette can also be changed (9 different options are available, as seen in the above gallery). The IR scale brings up a temperature range scale to one edge of the preview pane, with the default setting extremes being the highest and lowest temperatures in the scene. This can be changed by the user. Parallax adjustment allows proper MSX blending based on the proximity of the subject. An option is also available to flip the captured image in the preview itself. The gain settings can also be adjusted if necessary (low gain is needed to see very high temperatures).

While the MSX and VividIR features deliver great image quality, the spot temperature meters and temperature tracking on a region basis help provide actionable information to professionals.

The FLIR Tools Android App

Professional use-cases often require post-processing of the gathered images. Fortunately, the pictures saved by the FLIR ONE Pro are radiometric in nature. This means that pixels have associated data with them (in this case, temperature). FLIR Tools is a program provided by FLIR to process radiometric JPEGs. I had tried using it on a PC with the thermal images from the previous generation FLIR One, but, it wasn't successful. FLIR now has an Android version of the software.

While FLIR Tools has multiple use-cases (including control and discovery of advanced thermal imaging equipment using Bluetooth etc.), our testing was limited to post processing of thermal images captured via the FLIR One app.

Gallery:

The app allows generation of a PDF report from any radiometric JPEG. The report includes a list of measurements activated via the on-screen editing options. The editing options include adjustment of parallax, palette, and measurements (spot, rectangular, and circular regions). Unlike the FLIR One app which is restricted to three of each region type, FLIR Tools can be used to add as many measurements as one wants, and the resulting image can be saved.

FLIR also has a developer program and SDKs for the FLIR ONE cameras. This allows third-party developers to create apps that can utilize the FLIR ONEs. A few high-quality apps are linked right from the FLIR ONE app itself.

Introduction Sample Thermal Images
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  • Nottheface - Tuesday, June 6, 2017 - link

    From http://www.flir.com/flirone/store/?id=81769:

    "Expanded Measurement

    FLIR ONE Pro’s expanded temperature range means you can measure temperatures between -4°F and 752°F (-20° to 400°C). With up to three spot temperature meters and six temperature regions of interest, FLIR ONE Pro gives you added on-the-go image analysis and reporting capability."

    So why do you say in the article that is can only track up to 150ºC?
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Tuesday, June 6, 2017 - link

    I mention the rated specs in the piece. The 150C is what we tested. Doesn't mean the Pro can't 'see' above that Reply
  • Morawka - Tuesday, June 6, 2017 - link

    Check out Seek's RevealPro. It's $600 but it has 320x240 with the visible spectrum camera and overlays. Plus it does fast motion capture. They make a cheaper unit for around $400 which features a 206x156 sensor with a dedicated lcd screen and flashlight. Seek's gonna eat FLIR's lunch when it comes to consumer/prosumer IR cameras Reply
  • R7 - Friday, June 9, 2017 - link

    Yeah. Im sure FLIR is shaking in their boots about competitors much more expensive device that despite having higher res sensor produces noticeably worse images due to the lack of MSX like technology. Reply
  • fobosca - Tuesday, June 6, 2017 - link

    This is just toy for the kids. I am not sure why they using word *PRO*. Maybe you can use it for home inspection if your customer is not too picky. Useless for anything else. Oh of cuz you can check your steak temperature... Reply
  • Beany2013 - Thursday, June 8, 2017 - link

    My brother is a mechanical engineer (he does installation, troubleshooting, etc of industrial plant gear) and uses the basic one just to get a feel for where heat is building up, and using that to help diagnose things like gearboxes lacking lubrication, wires carrying too much current, components that are overstressed etc - without ripping the equipment apart, risking electric shock or physical injury, etc.

    You don't necessarily need to know the specific temperature at that point - just that something is hotter than it should be, or hotter than the surrounding area or it's complimentary components.

    Wheel bearings or brake disks on the car are a more prosaic example; think you have a binding caliper? Drive the car for a couple of miles, pull over, check each disk with the 'cheapy' FLIR camera and you'll have a pretty good idea of whether it's a binding caliper or a wheel bearing, from where the heat is. He did that to diagnose a knackered driveshaft, rather than a knackered wheelbearing, without having to get the car up on stands and shake everything about.

    So they do have uses beyond novelty, even at this 'basic' level.
    Reply
  • RandomUsername3245 - Tuesday, June 6, 2017 - link

    Watch out linking to Sofradir's opinion on a-Si vs. VOx. This is (almost) like linking to an AMD review published on Intel's website :)

    Almost every microbolometer vendor I know of uses one technology or the other (a-Si, VOx). They claim their choice is technically superior and all others are slightly worse.
    Reply
  • KidneyBean - Wednesday, June 7, 2017 - link

    Disappointed that the sample photos don't show tests on the seal around the refrigerator with the door closed, or around house entrance doors or windows. Or maybe a water heater to see if it's insulating jacket could use improvement somewhere. Or if it could be used to spot a water leak. Reply
  • scmorange16 - Wednesday, June 7, 2017 - link

    Can this be used to detect Paranormal activity? Reply
  • JanW1 - Wednesday, June 7, 2017 - link

    Like natural gas burners magically staying at a cool 150°C? Reply

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