This Infrared Thermometer Gizmo Takes Temperatures Without Touching


The concept...
The concept...

Wouldn’t you love to be able to measure the temperature of something simply by pointing your phone at it? That’s the promise of a tiny new gizmo that’s just been patented. The question is: will any phone manufacturers decide to include it?

It’s the brainchild of Dr Jacob Fraden, and works by detecting the infrared light given off by the thing you’re pointing it at, and works out the temperature in a second. No mercury bulbs, no touching required.

Measuring just 5mm by 5mm, the idea is that it could be embedded into any smartphone alongside the camera lens. Neato.

… the reality. So far.

Chances of Apple including something like this? About a gazillion to one, I’d say. It’s tiny, yes, but 5mm by 5mm is a huge chunk of the inside of an iPhone.

In his press release, Dr Fraden said:

The vendor with breakthrough functions for real world everyday use, like reading a child’s temperature, can distance themselves from their competitors. We believe this new patent can be a significant competitive differentiator for a smartphone manufacturer.

But then you’d expect him to say that wouldn’t you?

A lot of people would find it useful, but not enough for it to become a must-have iPhone feature. Perhaps something like this might work as an accessory, embedded into the body of an iPhone case? That might work. What do you think? Would you buy one?

Source: Press release

  • Ian Rathbone

    I’d say the potential for using this is pretty big actually. I remember a lot of people questioning the inclusion of the compass. There’s a lot of new scenarios even for gaming that could benefit from this. Think (while it’s different) of the Wii’s Vitality sensor.

  • iNsaneOS

    I would probably buy this as an external accessory, but it’s entirely impractical to have embedded in your phone. You don’t have a toothbrush in your phone, which is used much more often (hopefully). It’s not practical. This tool would be great as an external accessory and wonderful for schools and doctors. With this, you’d know your child isn’t putting the same thermometer in his/her mouth as all the other students and doctors can save money on the replacement thermometer heads. I don’t understand why this guy thinks it’s practical to have embedded into the iPhone, but maybe he has a vision of having a shaver, toothbrush, mini-shower and your daily meals popping out of his phones. I definitely think it has a future as an accessory, but parents also might feel more secure with a real thermometer. They don’t give up decades of tradition that easily and I’m sure a real thermometer is much more reliable, especially when your iPhone’s battery is depleted. Apple, please don’t implement it or you’ll have to explain to me and everyone else why my workbag isn’t embedded behind the home button.

  • rhunderhill

    IR sensors oath cooled and room temperature have been around for well over 30 years. There doesn’t seem to be anything new or patentable here. More information on the nature of this device is required. IR thermometers are already in use around the world in hospitals and airports to name but two.