We know how the game works…The Military and Law Enforcement get to play with all the new high speed stuff and we get to watch…Until now! Enter the Scout line of thermal imagers from FLIR!!
Weighing in at 12oz. and under seven inches long this little device totally changes the game of imaging! From the intuitive three button controls to quality case it is everything you would expect from an industry leader like FLIR. Finally there is a thermal imager on the market made and priced for the masses!
Now be warned, I’m not going to get all spec. heavy and show you an endless line of pictures of me in various, alluring positions…We have all seen those on tv when they show high speed car chases or the military working overseas…What I will tell you is how I used it and show you some revealing photos of what to expect.
The one thing that I found disconcerting was getting used to understanding that I was seeing heat. I’m no stranger to NV and using that is closer to natural sight than the thermal. Use one and you’ll understand what I mean. Fine detail is lost and everything is black and white. Its really neat!
Here is the first image. The Scout sees all heat, not just body heat or a specific degree. If objects differ from each other in temp you will see that represented by the difference in brightness of the pixels on the viewing screen. The black object on the table that seems to cast a shadow is actually a cold can of soda! The seat of the chair to the right is brighter than the others and there are light spots on the table. I had been sitting there writing and took a picture of where I was! How cool is that!!
The next image is my kitchen sink. You can see the heat coming from the dishwasher on the lower right. Note how it saturates the area. There are objects on the counter that you cant see because they are the same temp as the dishwasher. The window is black as well as the faucet nozzle and some water rolling down between the two bottles on the backsplash.
Now let me tell you this. You cannot look out windows! If you do all you see is yourself looking back at you and if its dark outside and you don’t know that’s going to happen, boy are you gonna be surprised!! We had a lot of fun using the imager for playing hide ‘n seek and looking for wildlife in our neighborhood.
Was it easy to use? I’m glad you asked! Yes, it’s a dream to operate. There is a power button, zoom button and brightness control. You can use it without thinking…My four year old was able to operate it with no problem. The kids loved looking at their handprints on the walls and following foot tracks on the floor.
I took the unit into my yard to have a look around and was able to clearly see my neighbor’s incessantly barking dogs two yards over as they moved through shrubs and ground cover. The sensitivity is nothing short of amazing and the screen is clear and bright.
If I was a LEO, I wouldn’t go out on patrol without this device. You can see through brush foliage, fog and rain… find footpaths as well as look at cars to tell if they have been run recently. Fire Fighters can use it for rescues and looking for hotspots in buildings. Contractors can use it to survey homes for insulation, look to see if those new windows are keeping the heat in, Not to mention hunters can use it for tracking wounded game and pre dawn scouting. SAR operators have a need for such devices and they can often make the difference between life and death.
With a price point around $2k it’s a “Spouse Justifiable” expense for work but may be a stretch for non LEO or SAR. The only bad thing about the unit was that I had to send it back!! I absolutely loved it and would have kept it if there had been room in the budget.
Follow the link below to go to imagers info page…