Just a few weeks ago at CES FLIR announced an updated version of its FLIR ONE thermal camera for smartphones with a compact new form factor similar to the Seek Thermal. And to keep the smartphone thermal camera arms race going, Seek Thermal has now returned fire with its new Seek XR that introduces an optical zoom feature letting you spot targets up to 600m away.
The Seek XR is actually just a mechanical upgrade to the original Seek Thermal camera, introducing an adjustable lens that now allows the optics to focus on objects or scenes that are much farther, or closer, than the original version permitted.
That might not seem like much of an upgrade given how radically redesigned the new FLIR ONE is, but having used both devices before, the one feature they were both really lacking was an optical zoom. Spotting animals in the woods, for example, was all but impossible unless they were right in front of you. And what good is being able to spot a wild animal in the dark of night when it's already on top of you?
With an actual optical zoom the Seek XR is now even more of a legitimate tool and less of a toy, which might make it easier to convince yourself to drop $US300 on one later in the month when it's available for both iOS (Lightning connector-only) and Android (USB OTG support required) devices. [Seek Thermal]