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(Pocket-lint) - Thermal imaging was once a treat reserved for those in the military, or perhaps the odd rich paintball fan. Now it's becoming affordable on the iPhone thanks to Seek Thermal.

The hardware add-on allows you to turn any iPhone into a thermal imaging camera. The device connects via the Lightning port and uses a chalcogenide lens and vanadium oxide microbolometer. These are science-speak for letting you see with heat vision, not a lot unlike the Predator or Terminator.

Seek Thermal describes it as "using the data from only 32,000 thermal pixels" to create visual images on the iPhone. "In broad daylight or in complete darkness, you can now be aware of your surroundings."

So what is a thermal camera for, other than mucking about in the dark to scare your mates? Safety, allowing you to scan a car park in the dark before venturing in. Home improvement, allowing you to spot weak insulation or water damage. Cooking, to check the BBQ temperature at a glance. Boating, to detect objects at night. And anything else you can think of.

The Seek Thermal imaging camera is available now for $200 which is about £123. This is far cheaper than the $350 FLir One thermal imaging case that was released in July.

see in the dark using your iphone with seek thermal imaging image 2

READ: Add Predator style heat vision to your iPhone using the Flir One case, out July

Writing by Luke Edwards.