This article covers frequently asked questions about the RealWear Thermal Camera Module
Q: How do I install the thermal camera?
A: First, remove the existing camera module/cover from the device. Once this is done, you can snap the thermal camera module onto the camera port. For more information, please see the video below.
Q: What device is the Thermal Camera Module compatible with?
A: The Thermal Camera Module is compatible only with RealWear Navigator™ 500 series devices.
Q: Do I need to swap camera modules every time I want to just take regular photos or videos?
A: No, you can capture normal or thermal images without having to swap modules.
Q: How do I switch between cameras?
A: To control or switch between the cameras, users can go into their My Camera app and say Thermal Camera or Main Camera to switch between cameras.
Q: Why do I need a thermal camera? What is the benefit?
A: In environments where temperature differences are critical, such as with electrical inspections, building diagnostics, or manufacturing, the ability to identify irregularities in temperature is important.
Q: Are there scenarios where I would not want to use this module and would prefer the native camera module?
A: Since performance of the normal camera should be equivalent, there should not be any reason to need to switch back to the single normal camera module.
Q: What is a Blending Mode?
A: For the thermal module, when you activate “Blending Mode” your module can capture temperature (thermographic) information in different ways. There are five different Blending Modes included: 1. Visual, 2. Blended (Low), 3. Blended (High), 4. Thermal, 5. MSX® Enhanced. These thermal modes alter the way information is presented, from pure visual to pure thermal and mixed information, such as Blended and MSX modes.
Q: What is a Color Mode within the settings?
A: Color modes change the way that thermal imagery is displayed for users. These modes give you the flexibility to adjust how your colors are shown. These modes can be useful when you want to highlight specific items such as Hottest or Coldest, you have trouble seeing certain colors, or you are looking to change the look of your thermal imagery to make the colors stand out more.
Q: How do I know which mode is right for my purposes?
A: Choosing the right mode is based on user preference and use case. We encourage users to leverage many modes and color settings to find out which is right for them. No one mode is right for every situation.
Visual mode (1) is useful for seeing the environment and getting a point read on a temperature. Blended modes (2 and 3) are meaningful for viewing visible images, but with an overlay of temperature information to get a better idea of the situation. Thermal vision (4) is helpful for seeing the range of temperatures across an area, and spotting the differences between parts. MSX Enhanced (5) is great for seeing additional information such as outlines or writing on objects.
Q: Can I use this in Intrinsically Safe environments?
A: No. This thermal camera module is not IS rated.
Q: Why does my framerate sometimes freeze or stutter?
A: If you hear a feint clicking sound, then the Thermal Camera is performing a Flat-Field Correction or FFC. FFC is an image processing technique employed to reduce the impact of irregular lighting and variations in sensor sensitivity within images. This occurs as the thermal camera module is warming up and every 2-3 minutes after that.
Q: Is this module IP rated for dust and water protection?
A: Yes. Once properly installed, this module maintains the IP66 rating on the RealWear Navigator 500.
Q: What format are thermal images captured in? Is it a shareable format?
A: Thermal images are saved as a radiometric JPG. A radiometric JPEG imaging file format has temperature data embedded in each pixel and can be analyzed with reporting and R&D software such as FLIR Thermal Studio and FLIR Research Studio.
Q: How do I view radiometric JPGs?
A: Radiometric JPGs can be viewed as normal JPGs in any photo viewer. To be able to view the full thermal data, radiometric JPGs must be viewed in a program compatible with radiometric JPGs such as FLIR Thermal Studio.
Q: What is FLIR Thermal Studio?
A: FLIR Thermal Studio is a software product offered separately by Teledyne FLIR for the viewing, recording, and editing of thermal images, including radiometric JPGs and videos.
Q: How much does FLIR Thermal Studio cost? What’s included?
A: For more information on pricing and what’s included within each tier of the FLIR Thermal Suite, you can view plans here: Thermal Studio Plans
Q: What applications does the Thermal Camera Module work with? What is available at launch vs roadmap?
A: The Thermal Camera Module will work natively within the My Camera application at launch. As for other applications, please see the following article about Intents: https://support.realwear.com/knowledge/how-do-i-call-the-thermal-camera-in-an-app
Q: Are there situations not suited for this thermal camera?
A: The sensor in the thermal camera module can measure temps up to 400°C (752°F) and is suited for distances less than 10 feet. Applications requiring greater distance may require a thermal camera with greater resolution.
Q: Can I use this for gas detection?
A: Most gas detection cameras (such as propane, methane, and butane detectors) are midwave cameras (spectral range of 3µm to 5µm). The FLIR Lepton® 3.5 is a longwave camera (spectral range of 8µm to 14µm).
Q: What are the distance ranges this Thermal Camera can be used in?
A: The Thermal Camera has the ability to set the focus distance for the environment you're working in, there are three settings you can choose from