Author Topic: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal  (Read 799587 times)

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Offline nowlan

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #200 on: October 09, 2014, 12:51:44 pm »
Not wanting to derail the thread.

Intellectual property can be hairy. They should of had a non compete clause in the contract for employee. Not sure how this would work during an acquisition.

I still think gorillas buying up competitors is bad for consumers. Need more competition to drive innovation and prices down.
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #201 on: October 09, 2014, 01:28:34 pm »
You will see no argument from me in favour of 'borging' all competition....not good for competition as you say. Which is why I am glad to see SEEK and other small companies entering the thermal imaging scene. The technology that they invent will benefit all.

The situation with FLIR is a little different though. I started out in thermography using Magnavox and Agema cameras. AGEMA (previously AGA) were the industry declared leading light in thermography. The down side of AGEMA kit was its size, weight and cost. I am not absolutely surre of my facts here but I believe FLIR saw the potential to build better thermal cameras by taking the knowledge of two manufacturers and combining them under one roof (FLIRs roof) The other company was Inframetrics, another very advanced thermal camera manufacturer of the time. Inframetrics apparently knew how to build a great thermal core but their case designs and ergonomics left something to be desired. All this was from a FLIR Rep so take it as you will. The story goes that FLIR bought Agema and Inframetrics to gain the best from both companies designs and then they produced cameras that were well designed, ergonomic and high performance. The PM series quickly became the darlings of Industry and were consider 'cutting edge'. I certainly loved using them and they made some competitor products look like cheap toys in comparison. Looks and ergonomics are important to the buyer. Prices were still high but then so was build quality and performance. I have spoken to several calibration houses for thermal cameras and all say the same thing....when they see a PM series camera they are happy as it is the exception that needs calibration, most remain firmly within specs throughout their operational lives. Sadly many also commented that the latest cheaper FLIR offerings and cameras from other manufacturers are not so stable and need regular calibration to maintain accuracy. TESTO is apparently pretty good as well.

FLIR appear to have a policy of increasing capability via purchasing market leading companies as they then get the whole package rather than head hunting an individual designer. This does have the potential for a negative effect on the market competition but it also has the potential for great innovation via the joining of great minds under one roof.
FLIR have certainly made some nice thermal cameras for the consumer market whilst still maintaining their Industrial camera development.

All this is off topic I know but it is worth considering who and what 'FLIR' really are as they have much influence in the world of thermography and they are a potential competitor to SEEK Thermal. It is my hope that FLIR do not set their sights on SEEK as it would be a Shark vs a Minnow situation. the fact that both FLIR and SEEK Thermal both use Raytheon supplied technology is a blessing and a curse depending upon inter-company politics.

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Offline eneuro

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #202 on: October 09, 2014, 05:51:41 pm »
All this is off topic I know but it is worth considering who and what 'FLIR' really are as they have much influence in the world of thermography and they are a potential competitor to SEEK Thermal.
Nice to know some history, but who knows who is patent owner if any of this fusion adding visual light based edges/countours to thermal image, named by Flir MSX?

If this was patented, so what about... adding parts of processed visual images to for example x-rays fusion with visual here?

This image could look probably better if edges were added not oryginal skin image...

Does  Seek Thermal have rights if needed to make such IR & visual light fusion aka MSX ?

I can not believe such thing could be patented, while I was thinking that Flir developed some kind of dual IR & visual light image sensing in his Lepton module or other chips, but when saw in Flir One teardown two separate IR & visual light cameras close together, the only thing I can say about patent systems  :rant:  :wtf:
« Last Edit: October 09, 2014, 05:55:57 pm by eneuro »
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Offline waldo

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #203 on: October 09, 2014, 08:50:30 pm »
FLIR has at least one set of patents specifically related to MSX.

Patent 8,520,970: Infrared resolution and contrast enhancement with fusion  -  https://www.google.com/patents/US8520970
and
Patent 8,565,547: Infrared resolution and contrast enhancement with fusion  -  https://www.google.com/patents/US8565547
and
Application 13/437,645: Infrared resolution and contrast enhancement with fusion  -  https://www.google.com/patents/US20120262584

The second patent's application is a Continuation-In-Part of the first patent's application and the third is a CIP of the second.  A CIP is typically used to add more specific claims to an application without changing the application's priority date.  I have not looked at them in detail to understand the differences.  The first two were granted in 2013.

For those interesting in exploring possible prior art, you can look at the references in those patents and you can visit uspto.gov and look at the Public PAIR information.  That will tell you what items of prior art the examiner used to grant those patents.  You could also look at the equivalent European patent databases.

Keep in mind that the presence of these patents does not necessarily affect what Seek could do since they may have a licensing agreement with Flir on this IP.  It could, however, affect what third parties (meaning: you) can legally do with regard to distributing their own apps that use the ideas in these patents.
 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #204 on: October 09, 2014, 11:49:48 pm »
In image processing lingo, it's called image registration and it's been around for decades, maybe their specific registration techniques are patented or copyrighted but there are many ways to solve the registration problem and even do it real time

It's been used in medical imaging, GIS, movie effects, ....
 

Offline eneuro

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #205 on: October 10, 2014, 07:17:34 am »
It could, however, affect what third parties (meaning: you) can legally do with regard to distributing their own apps that use the ideas in these patents.
Rather, those patents can be illegal and only a way to limit competition in wrong way.
I can display everything on my screen when I want from two or more diffrent images and no one will tell me that I can't do it since It was possible for decades.
It is clear those patents with IR & visual light fusion are bullshit  :-DD

Patent 8,520,970: Infrared resolution and contrast enhancement with fusion  -  https://www.google.com/patents/US8520970
One of the claims:
Quote
combining, by a processor, luminance information of the extracted pixel data with luminance information of corresponding pixels in the IR image to augment the IR image with the contours and/or edges from the visual image, wherein the augmented IR image comprises temperature information that is unaltered by the combining.
This doesn't have any sense, while if we add/modify even edges we have to destroy/change small parts of IR image where edges are else we can't see any difference on IR image if we do not change it :wtf:
It is like we change something, but there is no difference  :-DD

BTW: These patents do not affect me at all since I developed novel way to augment the IR image and showed in other post-there are not edges of visual image, but... chosen by image processing filter available for decades at the begining of computer vision, but I do not want pay patent offices and lawyers for nothing  >:(

It does not use Flir MSX luminance, but who cares about it and stupid patents  ???




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Offline miguelvp

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #206 on: October 10, 2014, 07:22:04 am »
Well you can actually register it in a different projection plane as well so it matches the whole image, but not bad.

 

Offline Sensor Geek

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #207 on: October 10, 2014, 11:41:13 pm »
FYI: A canned response from Seek to an inquiry a few days ago on estimated shipping date on my order from Sept 26. They had originally authorized the order amount on my card, but that has since been lifted and no further charges have been made. My order status shows only "processing". Granted, they are very busy right now, but it would have been nice to have a little more detail, or maybe have them take the time to update their Twitter feed, or some form of communication other than this.

Quote
Seek Support (Seek Thermal)
Oct 10 12:42

Thank you for contacting Seek Support.

We understand that you are interested in getting a status update on your order. Initial shipments were held pending the release of our companion Android and iOS apps. The Android app posted to Google Play on Friday, and Android cameras began shipping right away. We anticipate that it will take 1-2 weeks to work through the backlog of Android orders.

For iOS, we submitted to Apple and the app is in review. Once approved we will begin shipping iOS units as well.

All orders are being processed in the order in which they were received, and we are working to get them out to everyone as quickly as possible. When your order ships you will receive an update email with tracking details.

If you have other questions regarding your order, or need to have details from your order modified, please send an email to retailsupport@thermal.com with your order number, and the desired updates.

Oh, this should be post #207.
 

Offline frenky

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #208 on: October 12, 2014, 06:50:51 am »
Cool video of 3D pritner (captured with seek thermal module):

 

Offline callipso

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #209 on: October 12, 2014, 09:51:32 am »
That's some very decent imagery!
I wonder... **BOOM
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #210 on: October 12, 2014, 10:14:39 am »
Quote
The judgment and order awarding respondents $1,641.216.78 attorney fees and costs are affirmed. (§?3426.4.) Respondents are awarded costs and attorney fees on appeal, in an amount to be determined by the trial court on noticed motion.

$1.6M just in attorney fees  :o
 

Offline David Hess

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #211 on: October 12, 2014, 01:27:03 pm »
Quote
The judgment and order awarding respondents $1,641.216.78 attorney fees and costs are affirmed. (§?3426.4.) Respondents are awarded costs and attorney fees on appeal, in an amount to be determined by the trial court on noticed motion.

$1.6M just in attorney fees  :o

The attorneys win no matter who loses.  Or even if all sides lose.

They largely write the laws as well.
 

Offline callipso

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #212 on: October 12, 2014, 10:44:18 pm »
LEV - the Legal Engineering Videoblog...

Or is it?

Also anyone received their seek yet? I can't wait for Mike to get his :D
I wonder... **BOOM
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #213 on: October 12, 2014, 11:14:06 pm »
LEV - the Legal Engineering Videoblog...

Or is it?

Also anyone received their seek yet? I can't wait for Mike to get his :D
Ditto....
I have a suspicion that after the first few shipments things have slowed down if not stopped - only two have been on Ebay, and apart from some press reviews, not much has appeared online so far. Their twitter feed has been rather quiet as well.
I wonder of they only did a relatively small initial batch.
Google Play is showing "500-1000" installs and only 10 ratings.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2014, 11:26:37 pm by mikeselectricstuff »
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Offline miguelvp

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #214 on: October 12, 2014, 11:30:01 pm »
Mine order number was mid 600s and it's still processing. But I decided Fedex Ground because it was free.

 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #215 on: October 12, 2014, 11:32:36 pm »
I wonder if the reported serious-sounding  issues with the Android app may have something to do with it...?
Perhaps they consider it better to delay shipment than have a lot more pissed-off customers.
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Offline nowlan

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #216 on: October 13, 2014, 02:04:13 am »
Damned if you do, damned if you dont. If they have stock they can fulfill orders.
Can always update software later.

What happend with the IOS app? Still pending?
 

Offline marshallh

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #217 on: October 13, 2014, 02:45:01 am »
iOS is waiting on submission approval for the store.
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Offline frenky

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #218 on: October 13, 2014, 06:24:17 am »
I've made some digging on who is this "Frank Kinnaman"  that posted video of 3D printer...

Education Program Coordinator on UC Santa Barbara
http://www.mrl.ucsb.edu/people/administration-education/frank-kinnaman

On this page you can see cooperation with Flir on thermal granade and his name is mentioned many times on different projects:
http://www.me.ucsb.edu/projects/projects.html

The level of details on this video of 3D printer is much greater than on other images from users...
So it could be that they took seek thermal module and wrote their own post-processing software, they sure do have knowledge and resources.
 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #219 on: October 13, 2014, 06:56:12 am »
According to a reply on the comments, no postprocessing was done
 

Offline eneuro

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #220 on: October 13, 2014, 06:26:11 pm »
According to a reply on the comments, no postprocessing was done
This part of one of those comments:
Quote
"It could be that noise is less noticeable on video then on still image... ?"

In spare time I will load one of them frame by frame using OpenCV and try to enhance it a little bit and look into differences between frames too >:D
But there is a problem on YT there is no oryginal thermal video I guess, while only we can watch and download processed by YT itself  ???
How do you think, which of those YT videos is in the best quality in your opinion?
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Offline sacherjj

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #221 on: October 14, 2014, 01:55:23 pm »
Damned if you do, damned if you dont. If they have stock they can fulfill orders.
Can always update software later.

That is actually a tough situation.  It would seem this is best, unless the problem is bad enough that the word of mouth damage is higher than the late shipping damage.  I keep thinking that surely they would make an initial production of 1k.  I'm in the 600s and getting impatient.   :rant:
 

Offline imau

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #222 on: October 14, 2014, 03:10:36 pm »
I don't know you but I smell SCAM.
 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #223 on: October 14, 2014, 03:23:35 pm »
According to a reply on the comments, no postprocessing was done
This part of one of those comments:
Quote
"It could be that noise is less noticeable on video then on still image... ?"

In spare time I will load one of them frame by frame using OpenCV and try to enhance it a little bit and look into differences between frames too >:D
But there is a problem on YT there is no oryginal thermal video I guess, while only we can watch and download processed by YT itself  ???
How do you think, which of those YT videos is in the best quality in your opinion?

For those that used VHS tapes before you will know that our eye is wonderful interpolating frames. A single VHS frame is noisy and not that great at an equivalent 320x240 but it looks good when played at 30 Hz.

As for imau, what makes you think it's a SCAM, we all know is an IRCAM ;)
patience is a virtue.

Edit: after all we didn't know anything about this camera 2 months back, they just announced it at the end of September so it's been really just 2 weeks.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2014, 03:26:19 pm by miguelvp »
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #224 on: October 14, 2014, 03:34:52 pm »
I suspect they maybe announced a little early to take the wind out of Flir One's sales, and either did a relatively small first batch, or as previously speculated, resolving software issues that may involve firmware.

Still <1000 installs on Google App store & only 10 ratings.

 
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