You can't see it, but thermal radiation is all around us, with everything from your oven to an ice cream cone emanating a heat signature.
While snakes have a built in way to sense these variances in the infrared spectrum, which travels at wider wavelengths band than the visible spectrum, humans must rely on thermal imaging technology. These cameras convert infrared radiation into electrical impulses that are displayed as different colors.
Here are a few of the thousands of uses:
If you're a snake, or the Predator, you would use this sixth sense as a way to hunt prey. If you're a camper, you might use it to verify that your campsite fire is fully extinguished, or to verify that bump in the night wasn't Bigfoot.
In the industrial world, thermography has a seemingly unlimited number of uses, from detecting hot spots to checking if insulation is working. And now that modern thermal imaging sensors, first used by the military in the 1950s, have gone from costing tens of thousands of dollars to a few hundred, people are finding how useful it is to have one of these at home.
You can check for drafts in the entryways, check if your dinner is the right temperature, or to find the dog at night in the backyard.
To make this technology more accessible, thermal imaging leader FLIR Systems launched the FLIR ONE, an attachment for smartphones that converts them into thermal imagers. The small, slender clip-on plugs right into the bottom of an iOS or Android mobile device, and you don't have to be a pro to decipher what you see. The MSX technology assists your thermograph -- created by the micro-sized Lepton thermal camera -- by enhancing the blue and red blobs into detailed shapes via the adjacent VGA visible light camera.
The FLIR ONE measures temperatures between -4°F and 248°F and allows you to see the world from a completely different perspective. And because it's hooked right to your phone, you can share the images via email or social media, so you can have an HVAC specialist diagnose an air conditioning problem without making a house call, and of course, share dozens of your fresh "thermies" (thermal selfies) on Instagram.
Photo: FLIR Systems
This cool piece of equipment would pay for itself in hundreds of ways, some that no one has even thought of yet, but we're giving one away anyway. For your chance to win, just click on the picture directly below and fill out the information: