CES 2017: FLIR’s fused action camera

Tuesday, January 10, 2017
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At CES 2017 FLIR announced their own definition of an action camera. Meet the FLIR Duo, the first dual-sensor action cam utilizing both a CMOS and thermal sensor designed specifically for drones. Let’s see what this little beast is made of.

Utilizing both a 1080p CMOS- and FLIR’s very own Lepton (160x120 pixels) sensor the FLIR Duo allows you to overlay a thermal image over your regular footage. Real-time (wireless) switching between different view modes (visible image, thermal image or picture-in-picture) is done via the PWM protocol. This device is particularly interesting for farmers, law enforcement and for inspection of large buildings/structures.

It features both analog and digital (Mini HDMI) output which connects to your video transmitter to allow real time FPV. Don’t worry; it also records to you SD card.

The FLIR Duo comes in two variants:

  • Duo : Base model
  • Duo R: Allows accurate temperature measurements on every pixel

Quick specs

  • Visible camera resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Visible camera FOV: 90 °
  • Thermal resolution: 160 x 120 (FLIR Lepton)
  • Thermal frame rate: 7.5 Hz (NTSC) / 8.3 Hz (PAL)
  • Spectral range: 7.5 – 13.5 µm
  • Size: 41 × 59 × 29.6 mm
  • Weight: 84 grams
  • Operating temperature: 0°C to +50°C

First impression

We think FLIR has made the right move with this little device. It will sure attract a lot of attention the coming months as it should. It’s a small, innovative device geared towards multiple uses. And with the drone business booming as never before they timed its launch perfectly.

However, we cannot help but feel a little disappointed over the visible image’s 1080p resolution (we expect this has something to with high CPU-load while combining both visible and thermal imaging). Also the low thermal refresh rate is something to be aware of, especially when flying in FPV mode.

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