Tuesday, 04 September 2018 13:16

Thermal imaging possible

Written by  Adam Fricker

If you were loaned a $1099 mobile phone to review, would you test its maker’s claims that it was drop-proof to 1.8m and waterproof at depths up to 5m?

Tempting, but in the end we took on faith these claims about the CAT S60. Its chunky design, strengthened die-cast frame and Gorilla glass give it the appearance of a unit that “exceeds military specifications”.

Its other trick feature is a thermal imaging camera that can measure temperatures from -20°C to 120°C from up to 30m away – a first for a smartphone. CAT says farmers might use this feature to monitor soil temperature, ensure correct milk temperature, see the accurate temperature of pipes and check for inflamed areas on animals. You could also use it to locate livestock at night.

The thermal camera is controlled by an app built by thermal imaging company FLIR. It works by simultaneously taking two photos (or videos) – one with the thermal camera and one with the standard lens. It overlays the shots to provide a detailed image showing temperature differences by colour.

You can enhance these images using spectrum filters to highlight the temperature differences.

The display quality on the 4.7” screen is excellent and the touch screen is said to work even if you’ve got wet fingers or are wearing gloves.

The hardware includes 4G, the two cameras already mentioned, a Snapdragon 617 octa-core processor (this is good apparently), 32GB ROM and 3GB RAM. 

Emailing and internet surfing are at your fingertips and at a decent clip, subject to local internet speeds.

You’ll be pleased to know that the CAT S60 also functions perfectly well as a phone on which you can call or text.

If you’re a farmer, vet or contractor who spends about a grand on a phone then wraps it in chunky protectors, this unit might well suit straight out of the box. It might also appeal to tradies and to outdoor enthusiasts up for a spot of hunting and fishing.

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