Cat unveils world’s first smartphone with a thermal imaging camera

Caterpillar has developed the world’s first smartphone with a built-in thermal imaging camera and possibly one of the most rugged and durable handsets yet.

The Cat S60 Smartphone, part of the range of rugged Cat Phones handsets, was shown off at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) trade show in Barcelona.

The smartphone comes equipped with an embedded thermal camera from FLIR – a leader in thermal imaging technology.

The Cat S60 smartphone is “the world’s first thermal imaging Smartphone”.

According to Caterpillar, the feature allows Cat phone users to be the first in the world to use their smartphone to: detect heat loss around windows and doors; spot moisture and missing insulation; identify over-heating electrical appliances and circuitry; and see in complete darkness.

The thermal camera visualizes heat and highlights temperature contrasts which cannot be seen by the naked eye.

Cat claims that the device can pick up heat and measure surface temperatures from a distance of up to 50 to 100 feet, and see through obscurants such as smoke, ‘enabling a huge range of use cases for building professionals, utility workers, outdoor sports enthusiasts, and emergency first responders to name but a few.’

In addition to featuring a thermal camera, the phone is more rugged than any other device on the market. The S60’s unique casing allows the phone to withstand drops onto concrete from 1.8 metres and Cat claims that it is capable of surviving for up to an hour in waters as deep as five metres.

Cat claims that the S60 is also “the world’s most waterproof smartphone.”

“To stand out from the crowd in today’s smartphone market requires true innovation and we are proud to partner with FLIR to announce what is truly a world’s first,” said Peter Stephens, CEO Bullitt Group, global mobile device licensee for Caterpillar.

“The Cat S60 represents a milestone for smartphones. We are excited for thermal technology to be in the hands of Cat phones customers and to discover the myriad of daily time and efficiency use cases it will present for them.”

“We are delighted to work on the latest Cat phone with Bullitt Group, to integrate our thermal camera into their proven, industrialized smartphone to create a truly innovative and groundbreaking mobile product,” said Andy Teich, President and CEO of FLIR.

“The CAT S60 presents mobile users around the world with new capabilities – a ‘sixth sense’ experience that only thermal imaging can offer.”

Overview of the Cat S60:

  • Strengthened Die Cast Frame
  • Drop proof to 1.8m, MIL Spec 810G
  • Super bright display (typical 540 nits), Gorilla Glass 4
  • 4.7” HD capacitive multi-touch with auto wet finger & glove support
  • Optimised battery performance (3800mAh)
  • High quality audio experience (>105dB)
  • Underwater 13MP main camera with dual flash, 5MP front-facing camera
  • 4G LTE
  • Snapdragon 617 octa-core processor
  • 32GB ROM, 3GB RAM
  • Android™ Marshmallow
  • Dedicated FLIR thermal camera app with MSX technology; still image, panorama, and video capture; changeable heat palettes; temperature spot meter; and min, max, and average temperature data.

The phone will launch later this year. It will cost $599 in the US and €649 in Europe. There’s no information on how much the S60 will cost in the UK yet.