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Consumer Electronics Show: Thermal imaging for the masses [Updated]

January 7, 2011 |  4:35 pm

FLIR is an abbreviation for "forward-looking infrared," and it is also the name of a company at the Consumer Electronics Show that makes thermal imaging equipment, mostly for military and law enforcement. Why is this exciting?

Some neighborhoods, including mine, are rife with coyotes, and they frequently pester little dogs, sometimes while they are on leash. So walking my 11-pound dog in the predawn dark can get a little nerve-racking. But not with the FLIR Scout, a line of thermal imaging devices marketed to the public, which you can pick up starting in late April for about $2,500.

No more coyotes hiding in the bushes ahead of me. If I had something like this gizmo, I could simply go a different way once I saw the coyote's heat signature.

The FLIR Scout has three display modes that let you see heat as white, black or an eye-catching red, and the Pro model will record stills and video. And I know that if my dog could understand what all of this meant, he would be just as excited.

[For the record: Previous versions of this post incorrectly gave the price of the FLIR Scout as $25.]

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-- Tim French

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