Predator, meet Cat S60, the world's first phone with thermal imaging camera


Thermal imaging cams evoke scenes from the Predator with Arnold, like heavy breathing and colorful images ranging from Avatar blue to melting lava, depending on the temperature of the subject in the frame.

Well, now you can have the same technology on your phone, no bulky attachments needed. Except one, and that's the phone itself, as it is the next iteration in CAT's rugged family of phones, which are usually quite bulky to begin with. The newest CAT S60 is a bit more elegant than its predecessors, and features a military-grade thermal imaging C2 camera module from FLIR, which allows the Cat S60 to show temperature contrasts.

The thermal-imaging phone will be showcased at the MWC expo later this week, and sports unassuming internals, but extremely durable exterior, as usual with rugged phones. You will get a 4.7” HD display with Gorilla Glass 4 protection, wet fingers and glove touch support, as well as a Snapdragon 617 chipset to light it up. When it comes to memory, the Cat S60 ships with 3 GB RAM and 32 GB of internal storage. The rear camera is 13 MP with dual LED flash, and a 5 MP selfie snapper adorns the front. All that jazz runs on Android Marshmallow, and is backed by a hefty 3800 mAh battery, which at this screen resolution should have the phone going for a while.

We've come to the juiciest part now - the ruggedness and thermal imaging specs. The Cat S60 is able to withstand drops on concrete from a six feet height, and is waterproof at up to five meters for up to an hour, which is three times the depth certification of phones like the Xperia Z5, for instance. The camera is able to shoot underwater pictures and video at the same depth, too, so you can take the rugged handset on your next snorkeling trip as well.

The thermal imaging cam provides temperature contrast visualizations, using the phone's screen, and can be useful in numerous scenarios, like detecting heat loss around windows and doors, spotting moisture and missing insulation, identifying over-heating electrical appliances and circuitry, or and seeing in complete darkness.The accompanying FLIR thermal camera app with MSX technology allows for still images, panorama, and high-res video capture, plus it has changeable heat palettes, a temperature spot meter, as well as min, max, and average temperature data readouts.

The first phone with thermal imaging camera, Cat S60, will be demonstrated at the Mobile World Congress which starts next Monday, and will hit the shelves at a suggested price of €649 / $599.

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