FLIR, or Forward-Looking Infrared, has long been a staple technology for militaries around the world, allowing operations under the cover of night without the blinding shortcomings of conventional night vision goggles. And slowly but surely, this heat-sensing imaging technology is working its way into the consumer market. Specifically, onto your iPhone.
At the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) expo in Washington DC last week, FLIR (the company) debuted a commercial prototype of its FLIR (the technology) iPhone sled. The sled is still very much a work in progress and designed primarily to show off the company's line of tiny Quark camera cores. These cores measure just 19mm thick and have a max resolution of 640x480 (0.3 megapixels) -- good enough for nighttime ISR missions aboard the Army's RQ-11 Raven but not quite the quality you'd find on Instagram. Still, with the the setup debuted last week, which used a 9mm lens, one could easily "spot a person at about 300 yards," FLIR CEO Andrew Teich explained to Popular Mechanics.
There's no word yet on when, or even if, FLIR will jump into the mobile market as the company is still looking into the general feasibility of mass producing such devices. But really, who wouldn't want this killer feature while stalking an elite team of soldiers through a South American rain forest? [Popular Mechanics]