New renewable energy sources, smart power grids, and green building are undeniably crucial elements of creating a sustainable future, but let’s face it: not all of us can afford solar power, nor can we run out and build our own Hobbit holes. We need to find ways of living more efficiently — and affordably. That means everything from employing dimmable (or LED) lighting to adding more insulation, weather stripping, and replacing or repairing leaky windows.
But tracking down those spots where energy leak out of the house isn’t always easy, much less affordable. That’s what makes a new Kickstarter project from Andy Rawson from RH Workshop so exciting for me. Rawson has developed IR Blue — and inexpensive thermal imaging accessory for iOS or Android Devices.
As you can see in the video below, IR Blue shows you the temperatures of objects in frame, allowing you to sniff out things like un-insulated power outlets, drafty doors, or windows that are letting outdoor heat or cold inside.
The app will be available for free, and the device itself will sell for an estimated $195, but if you get in on the Kickstarter project now, you can get a fully assembled kit for $175, or a build-it-yourself kit for $145 (less expensive early adopter kits have already been snatched up).
Lest you think this is some conceptual thing, the Kickstarter page promises:
The IR-Blue is working and nearly production ready. We are working with a local manufacturing company that has the resources and ability to scale to whatever volume we need. The main risk for this project is unforeseen delays. The IR temperature sensor used in the IR-Blue is still new and not in wide distribution. The lead time from the manufacturer of this sensor, Melexis, is 20 weeks. The delivery dates for the rewards are based on this time plus the time needed to pack and ship the kits and the time needed for assembly and packaging of the complete IR-Blue.
The original goal was for $20,000, and the project has already received more than twice that in pledges, so this is definitely going to happen, barring some unforeseen disaster. The only real caveat for now is that the iOS version only supports Bluetooth 4, which means it’s limited to iPhone 4S, 5, and up, the new iPad, and the fifth-generation iPod Touch. The Android version connects via Bluetooth 2, and should work for Android 2.3 and up.
Kickstarter page: [IR-Blue – Thermal Imaging Smartphone Accessory]