Seek Thermal
Seek Compact Thermal Imager for iOS (Apple), Black


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Seek Compact Thermal Imager for iOS (Apple), Black

  • This thermal imaging camera for your iOS smartphone detects infrared light and creates a visible image on your screen
  • In broad daylight or complete darkness, you can now detect levels of hot and cold, water leaks, and more
  • Simply plug Seek into the USB port of your smartphone (Lightning port on an iPhone) to generate high quality imagery
  • Seek captures heat signatures and converts them into an easy and convenient real time picture for your smartphone device
  • Useful for homeowners, inspectors, contractors, and more

Seek Compact

Made for iPhone

Powerful and portable, the Seek Compact is a state-of-the art thermal imaging camera that connects directly to your smartphone. Using over 32,000 thermal pixels, Compact detects invisible infrared light and displays a visible heat signature on your phone.

With its wide 36° field of view, Compact is perfect for use indoors and around the home or building. Just plug Compact into your phone, tap the app, and find, fix and solve faster with more confidence.

  • 206 x 156 Thermal Sensor
  • 1,000 ft. Viewable Distance
  • Wide, 36° Field of View
  • Detectable Range of -40° to 626° F
  • Operates in Total Darkness
  • Free Mobile App Included


 

Been wanting a thermal imaging camera for some time and was considering the FLIROne, but not interested in a product that works ONLY for a single phone (what were they thinking?) so held off. I know FLIR is making a model similar to the Seek’s design, but as we were getting new windows in our house, I had the perfect rationalization to buy one! 🙂
First, this thing is small and sturdy, and the case is likely bulletproof. Once I started inspecting things around the house, I just ended up keeping it in my pocket (in the case) pretty much all the time. It’s not much bigger than some of the “smart” car keys, and a camera isn’t any good if you don’t have it with you. My wife and friends have commented on the geekiness of having a thermal camera with me at all times, but I think they’re just jealous.
Image quality is very good, though you can clearly see how low the actual resolution of the sensor is, and you can see small details well. Checking the insulation around a newly installed large, double window from about 10 ft away, I could easily see where they missed the foam insulation in a thin layer about 1 inch long. That’s not a big deal as far as the windows go, but I may as well seal it up completely as long as we’ve got things apart. On a cold night, I’ve scanned the new windows and the old single-pane windows and the inside of the glass is about 5 degrees colder on the old panes.
Useful for checking electrical systems. See the photos of an extension cord I was using with my electric car charger. During charging, the plug was heating up to 161 degrees, even though it was rated for the load it was using. Removing it from the chain, the charger plug only heated to 89 degrees. I also found two circuit breakers that run hotter than the others in the box – not scary hot, but just hotter – so I’ll be investigating the load on them.
At a commercial building, I was able to see the steel studs through the drywall in an uninsulated interior wall. Can’t see the wooden studs in my house though.
Software isn’t perfect, but has been reliable (has crashed the phone once, and I’ve got to restart occasionally, but only when I’ve been putting the camera on and off many times in the day). The split-screen mode that uses the regular camera at the same time as the thermal also captures both images when you take a shot and you can use the split-screen capability when viewing later too, not just in the live mode. The high/low temperature boxes are a little bit large and it would be nice for them to be off to the side of the actual hot/cold spot with a connecting arrow or line, but that’s a nit-picky detail.
One thing I’d like to use this for is locating owls that we hear in our back yard woods. Technically, I think it would work, but the lens is a little too wide angle for this to be realistic for the distance and even a big owl is going to be pretty small and hard to see. It would probably work with larger wildlife though.
The refresh rate for video is not very fast though, so something moving fairly rapidly across the image will display multiple ghosts. The only time this was really glaringly obvious was when I was taking video of a train out the window of a slowly moving car – people on the sidewalk showed up as 4 or 5 ghosts of themselves – not exactly a major limitation.
Overall, I haven’t regretted buying this for a second. It works well, is a terrific design, and lets me see a view of the world I can’t get otherwise. As silly as it sounds, the well designed case makes this a massively more useful/enjoyable camera since I can comfortably and easily have it with me all the time.

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The Seek LW-AAA was very well presented as received in it’s recyclable hard-case with a convenient magnetic cover.

The Seek Thermal box also includes a sturdy hard plastic case with a protective rubber bed (shaped with recess for the camera) to store this expensive IR camera in when not in use. Additionally, a small metal ring is included that can be slipped on the case for added security to not loosing it.

The Amazon product page states that the product uses “USB” to describe the connection that IOS devices use to connect to this small camera. To clarify, It uses a standard Apple Lightening 7 pin plug port which replaced the older and wider Apple 30 pin plug used in prior years for iPhones, iPads and iPods.

I have an iPhone 5s with a very thin case, and yes, as other reviewers stated, even a thin case will prevent the Seek lightening plug from fully seating into the lightening port and the camera won’t be connected.

There is a work-around though for those who do not want to remove the case for each use of the Seek. Amazon sells lightening case adapters/extenders which extend the lightening port away from the case where a thick case will not allow the lightening plug to fully seat. Try searching on Amazon for, either, “lightening case adapter”, or “lightening case extender”.

Unless I missed it, Seek Thermal doesn’t say anything about this camera working and being fully compatible on newer lightening connector based iPads and ….and…yes, it is!

I have a iPad 2 mini (retina), 2nd generation iPad and upon downloading the Seek Thermal app, from the App store, the camera and app worked perfectly (and in the same exact way) as it did on my iPhone 5s.

The larger screen of my iPad Mini 2 offers so much better viewing for using this camera. I’m quite comfortable in assuming the larger new iPads (airs) will work fine here too, perhaps the older models as well if one can get the camera connected to the port. The slower i{Pads (first generations or so) may not, only because of their slower processors. I hopefully may be wrong though and perhaps someone will write a review to include using their older iPad as well along with their iPhone.

The additional surprise regarding using my iPad Mini 2 was that the Seek camera plugged in fully and operated without the need to remove the case even though my iPad has a thick folio case on it.

The larger exposed area at the base of the iPad Mini where the lightening port is located seemed to allow plenty of room for the small sized base of the camera to fully seat. While this worked for my folio case, be aware each case is designed differently, especially at the area of the lightening port.

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This camera truly offers great sensitivity and detail for what it is designed to do.

In my initial use of it and in holding my hand in place on a wall very briefly for only about 2 seconds, the heat signature that remained was very obvious and the images captured were quite clear as well.

Even a few minutes later, although fainter of course as it cooled, the heat signature was still there!

Being able to use my iPad mini w/ a 7 inch screen over the small screen of the iPhone offered a great improvement and more enjoyment in using this specialized camera.

In a fully darkened room, walking barefoot on the carpet, the thermal “footprints” I left behind were easy to “track” and stood out boldly on the display in contrast to the surrounding cooler surface.

My cat walked by during this test and her paw heat signatures on carpeting were visible as well. There’s truly some amazing sensitivity here for this camera.

I did not try using this camera at the long ranges claimed for it to be able to handle, but, in looking at neighbors houses at night time and perhaps 250 feet away, the heat lose and general thermal footprint were very, very clear. One neighbor often leaves their garage door open as it is attached, but, not insulated. It was evident though, that heat from the primary house was being lost into the garage. I saw more indications of heat in the cold space of this garage then one would prefer.

I also played with the temp option where C and F temps can be displayed on the screen in real time across varying term zones on the display. You can select the area and narrow down the target area you wish to read the temps for as well.

While I down a very accurate IR reading temperature gun, it is primitive at best for being able to tell the exact area it is monitoring as it must be an exact distance away from what you are reading to assure X number of square inches i being measured. It also won’t allow me to see the area visually and accurately over-all, but, rather just to be able to take pinpoint temp reading on a rough square inch or so area. The seek of course allows a much larger area of and distance to be included.

The Seek was a huge improvement here. We’ve got an older glass top stove here which the seek allowed us to see a cool area on one burner that’s been degrading for uniform and adequate heating. The Seeks ability to show a full and real-time image area of temperature variation was a real benefit. We could see the burner’s poor uniformity across the area. Add to this that you can record still and video, well, night and day ahead of a low-cost IR temp readout gun.

The fact that my IR gun must be a very set distance away from an object to get an accurate square inch area reading has always been a hinderance. The Seek allows you to decide how much or little area you want to monitor and you are able to tell exactly where a given temp is using the live image.

I also tried the Seek on our gas grill and it was able to provide me confirmation our grill has really good heat distribution over-all. We’ve had older grills with cold spots where searing wasn’t as good, so the Seek could help here for a new grill, or even in an older one requiring repairs or maintenance and thus flag issues or perhaps indicate clogged flame outlets needing some cleaning.

The Seek app also allows still and video and zooming as well. Using the normal two finger zoom gesture with two fingers coming together, the image is cropped/zoomed-in accordingly.

The seek app also allows users to select either a 4:3 or 16:9 format. I found 16:9 gave me more usable area and increased width in some applications where I needed more width then height.

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Additionally, if you are looking for a specific temp range during your scan, you can tweak the app settings to allow narrowing of the temp range for the associated color gamut to be displayed while the other temps which are below or above your target are what equates to being grayed out.

My hopes here are that the Seek Corp will keep improving the app and continue to make this compact Seek camera provide continuing improvements and additional features over time and add more features the camera can provide or correct any bugs in the first series of updates. (as some reviewers noted, the updates recently offered did fix a problem or two).

While not needed for me, this camera could be used for home security, looking for a lost pet at night, ..possibly alerting one of an electrical component that is running hotter then it should be,,,,etc.

in reality, one’s imagination, skill and creative thinking may be the only limits to what this great camera can do.

So, suffice to say, …this small camera is not a gimmick nor a toy.

For the a sizable investment that you will make, this camera will prove to be very versatile and more importantly, provide the user with accurate results while offering many beneficial features and flexibility through the software.

In that this camera is totally dependent on the software controlling it (as it has no dials, buttons, or any other means of controlling it other then through software) , I am certain that Seek will continue to update its app and improve upon the current app and extend what this camera can do.

We planned to have a full house heating evaluation completed to look at needed additional insulation, sealing, cold air infiltration and generally, what improvements will be required.

In my attic and over-all outer wall and ceiling evaluation using the Seek, the Seek provided all of the information that we needed. I found cold spots as well as a few areas where the insulation wasn’t adequate or perhaps had not been properly and evenly placed between some studs and air leaks and poor calking were very obvious as well. (when it is in the single digits outside, the Seek can detect that cold air coming in very easily!) Given that we’d paid a part of what the Seek sells for to have a contractor come over to do this, the Seek will pay for itself for others who may need to use it on an ongoing basis for projects around the house or similar tasks or share with family, friends and neighbors.

For those needing the Seeks capabilities on the job and for a business, I am certain this little camera will provide all of the functions needed and the required accuracy as well.

Although the Seek is tiny in size, it clearly is very big on performance and up to any task that an IR camera costing much more would could as well.

Make no mistake, the Seek is not a “toy”. For around $250, you are buying this less to fool around with and more, to use it seriously, as a necessary tool at home or on the job.

With Amazon’s great return policy which includes free shipping, for those requiring a high quality IR camera that can provide very accurate results, deciding on choosing this Seek product seems to be a win-win opportunity

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