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Flir One case turns Apple's iPhone into a high-end thermal imaging camera

Thermal imaging company Flir has announced that pre-orders for its new One iPhone case —which will let outdoorsmen, HVAC contractors, and people who simply like to see how hot things are convert their iPhone 5 or 5s into a thermal camera —will begin Wednesday, with the device coming to Apple retail stores in August.

The Flir One will offer users the ability to view live infrared imagery when paired with a companion app, and the company imagines a variety of uses for the accessory, ranging from home improvement to security. Flir hopes the One's relatively modest $349.99 price tag —a significant discount from the company's other cameras, which can run into the tens of thousands of dollars —will inspire even more creative applications.

"Based on technology that was formerly reserved for the military, Flir One is the first in a new generation of affordable thermal imaging devices designed to inspire imaginative and innovative uses by consumers," Flir Chief Executive Andy Teich said in a release. "This represents a revolutionary step forward for both Flir Systems and thermal imaging."

Homeowners could use the Flir One to find and fix air leaks to make their home more energy efficient without needing to hire outside contractors, for instance, or campers could use the camera to observe nocturnal creatures. The Flir app also allows for the creation of time-lapse and panoramic thermal images.

Flir will begin accepting pre-orders in the U.S. on July 23 at 9 a.m. Eastern Time at The camera will make its way to Europe as well as Apple retail outlets in the U.S. and Canada in August.