FLIR at FLIBS, and thank you BMW

Flir FLIBS2 c Panbo

That’s your thermal image, bigger here, of the Electronics Tent at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS)…all hot faces and legs. When you watch it live, it’s the ears in particular that pop out, the lack of insulating fat combined with the camera’s fairly high resolution I guess. And, yes, laddies, this technology will sort of see through clothing. A thermal camera images differences in temperature, so warm underwear under cool outerwear sometimes makesFlir FLIBS c Panbo an impression (as I once had fun writing about). More important, really, is that most anything floating in the ocean, like say a container or an unlit daybeacon, is warmer than the water around it and thus will show up in a thermal image no matter how dark the night. A man overboard’s head, or a thief on a dark pier, stand out like light bulbs! At any rate, Flir Systems, which calls itself the “world leader” in this niche, is doing a masterful job of marketing its new recreational marine level products at this show, even though it doesn’t have a booth. The live image and cameras, like that ThermoVision Mariner {update: no longer made} model on top of the Northstar kiosk, are everywhere. Thermal cameras have been around a long time, but mostly in very expensive packages like the NVTi 5000, which is also on display here (and every bit as beautiful as I imagined). The real Flir news is that rugged, well supported thermal cameras have now become merely expensive; the company is even showing a fixed unit that only costs about $5,000 (the fixed Navigator model). Why? Economies of manufacturing scale. Inside the marinized case is the exact same camera that BMW is putting on 70,000 bumpers per year. Cool! or how about: Thermal!

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

1 Response

  1. Eli says:

    I like it. In addition to the practical uses that you outlined Ben, this thing sounds like it would be great for some late night harbor entertainment.

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