Seek Thermal is transforming the thermal imaging industry with their affordable, intuitive thermal imagers.
Seeing the unseen—that’s Seek Thermal’s slogan, and it’s exactly what their innovative thermal imaging products allow you to do. The company is releasing two new thermal imagers for building professionals this month: Seek Shot and Seek ShotPRO.
The pro version has higher resolution, but both products are designed to be intuitive, efficient, and affordable. These thermal imagers allow HVAC technicians and contractors to do their jobs better, safer, and more efficiently—from preventative maintenance to diagnostic capabilities. “Our mission is to make this technology affordable for everyone,” says Brent LaSala, director of marketing at Seek Thermal. “This tool will enable all HVAC technicians to do their jobs faster and safer.”
At a Glance
- Blends thermal and visible images
- Edit and analyze photos in the field
- Stream live over WiFi
- Intuitive interface
- Customizable colors
Engineering for Affordability
Seek Thermal focuses on keeping the quality standards at the same level as other thermal imagers while cost engineering every component. Their sensors are designed in the USA in wafer-level packaging, similar to how computer chips are made. They also engineered smaller pixels to get more sensors per wafer.
Their automated assembly process also saves money and time. “Making several thousand pieces a day versus 200 pieces allows you to invest in capital equipment and processes that really take cost out of the process as opposed to the way it’s been done for the past decade,” says Tim LeBeau, vice president of Seek Thermal.
“In the past, thermal imaging sensors and products have been complicated,” LeBeau says. “As a matter of fact, you had to take expensive classes to learn how to use them. And we thought that was crazy.” That’s why Seek Thermal made Seek Shot easy to use, similar to smartphone apps. The intuitive design means you won’t need to take a class or get certified to use the technology.
Seek Shot features a large, touch screen color display. You can change the color palette based on your personal preference and application. Users can take spot temperature readings and draw area boxes that are customizable on the screen to pinpoint the hottest, coldest, or average temperature in the frame.
The new imager also features SeekFusion technology, which fuses the images from the visible camera and the thermal imaging sensor, providing high definition and maximum clarity. With variable blending, SeekFusion combines the diagnostic power of thermal imaging with the context and detail of a visible image. You can store your thermal photos and videos on the device and then offload them with a USB cable.
The product’s ergonomic shape and extended battery life also set it apart from Seek Thermal’s other thermal imagers. It’s lightweight and compact, but strong enough to withstand the elements. Seek Shot also allows you to do diagnostic reports right on the device to quickly solve problems in the field without the need for post-processing software.
Preventative Maintenance & Diagnostics
Thermal imagers help you ensure systems remain in working condition. The detailed images help technicians predict when they need to replace parts before they break down. “You can also extend the life of your HVAC systems by using a thermal imaging camera to know exactly when something might fail,” LaSala says.
Just like in the human body, temperature can be a symptom of a problem in HVAC systems. With Seek Shot, contractors can quickly assess the situation on the job. “There are tools on the market to help diagnose HVAC issues, but very few will be as efficient as seeing an image that displays a heat signature,” LaSala says.
There are heat signatures associated with water damage, corroded connections, failing motors, and leaks. If you have a radiant floor that’s pumping warm water through it, you can use a thermal imager to see where the leak is without tearing out the floor.
Sustainability & Energy Efficiency
Seek Shot shows where inefficiencies are, which means HVAC technicians can address the issue right away and help maintain greener buildings. Thermal images can indicate the energy performance of the building envelope, HVAC equipment, or ducting system. The images also highlight areas with poor insulation by showing where there is significant heat and cold transfer.
“They say a picture is worth 1,000 words,” LeBeau says. “You can have someone try to tell you about what’s going on with your HVAC, or they can show you a few images and immediately you can figure it out.” Contractors can show their customers where the issues are and provide before and after thermal images to illustrate their work. This is also critical in the selling and quoting process to generate new business.
Changing the Industry
Thirty years ago, thermal imaging systems cost upwards of $300,000, LaSala says. In the early 2000s, the lowest price point was about $10,000. Seek Thermal has significantly lowered the price range to between $250 and $800. This shift in the thermal imaging market has made the technology more accessible and widened the number of applications.
“Many people still think of thermal imaging as something unattainable, something they can’t afford, but that’s definitely not true anymore,” LeBeau says. Thermal imagers are now being adopted by industries that previously couldn’t afford them, including HVAC, energy auditing, firefighting, law enforcement, automotive, IoT, and more.
By the Numbers
- In 2012, the average price for a thermal imaging camera was $10,000.
- Seek Thermal launched a $249 thermal imaging product in 2014.
- In 2017, the total volume of the thermal imaging market was about 1.3 million units compared to 200,000 units in 2012.
- By 2021 the total volume of the market is predicted to be 4.1 million units at an average price of about $1,500.
- The average sale price in the industry decreases by about 17% year after year and the market volume increases by about 40% per year.