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Online and Offline Detection: Finding the Right Thermal Camera for Your Needs

Friday May 27th, 2022

Thermal imaging and covid

The thermal imagining and cameras market is booming. In fact, from 2021 to 2026, the industry is expected to grow from $6.2 billion in sales to $8.7 billion. Reason being, industry leaders in nearly every sector are realizing how practical thermal imaging cameras are for day-to-day operations.

From temperature screening guests before your next big event to the security system on your factory’s shop floor, there are plenty of reasons why your company might invest in an infrared camera. What’s more, depending on the intended use, you’ll need to decide whether online or offline detection best suits your needs. In this post, TherCam, a leader in thermal imaging technology, discusses the various uses of infrared cameras and how they may apply to your industry.

How Do Thermal Cameras Work?

A thermal camera (sometimes called infrared camera) is a contactless device that detects an object’s infrared energy, also known as its heat signature. Keep in mind that all objects have a heat signature, but cooler items radiate less heat, therefore presenting less infrared energy. Warmer objects, then, produce a greater heat signature.

Thermal cameras capture heat signatures and assign different colors to different temperature ranges. A particularly warm or hot object will appear yellow, orange, or red. Conversely, a cold item will appear in blue or purple tones. Depending on whether you’re using an online or offline camera, the image is either immediately available or can be stored in the camera’s memory for future use.

four people walking in a building while looking at mobile phones as captured by a thermal camera

Online vs. Offline Modes of Detection

As with most forms of technology today, virtually all thermal cameras can connect to wireless networks. Connectivity allows camera operators to upload captured images to smartphones or computers in real-time. Alternatively, a mounted camera can store the footage in a network’s cloud storage system for later access.

Practical Uses for Online Detection

A thermal camera with online detection capabilities can help you continuously monitor whatever you need to keep tabs on. Whether you’re tracking a research project or looking for a new line of security defense, a thermal camera can help.

Use in Science and Research

Thermal imaging cameras allow scientists and researchers to accurately measure a project’s heat patterns, distribution, and dissipation. Common uses may include, but are not limited to:

  • Industrial development of circuit boards and other electronics
  • Combined use with a microscope, also known as microscopy, to measure the heat distribution of minuscule parts and specimens
  • Medical imaging to find variations in surface temperatures that could indicate tumors, clots, bleeding points, and more
  • Agricultural monitoring for differences in heat distribution throughout a crop based on water intake

In any of these instances, the right thermal camera could be connected to an online network to record the given data so it may be reviewed at a later time. You’ll be able to watch the captured footage to identify issues, improve functionality, and streamline your processes.

Use in Security Monitoring

If you’re looking for a new and improved security system, thermal imaging cameras could be your answer. As with other surveillance cameras, infrared cameras can capture and record a setting for a prolonged period. In addition, many thermal imagers come with built-in alarms, which can be set to alert you when a temperature range becomes too high or too low.

A high temperature entering a space could alert you or your security personnel to an intruder entering the area. Alternatively, it could mean that a machine is in danger of overheating. No matter what you’re looking out for, you’ll be able to adjust the temperature-sensitive alarm accordingly to best suit your needs.

woman wearing mask scanning man with a thermal camera

Use in Smart Cities

Smart cities use information and communication technology (ICT) to improve information sharing, streamline operations, and provide governments with more valuable data about their localities. Traditional camera monitoring systems rely on light reflections to capture images. Thermal cameras, however, rely on heat signatures—which are always present, regardless of temperature—and may therefore be more reliable for monitoring public spaces.

In the event of another global pandemic, smart cities may also equip building entrances with thermal imaging cameras as a checkpoint for incoming guests. Though an operator could use an offline camera to screen guests individually, an online camera equipped with an alarm could also alert building staff to a person with a high temperature entering the space.

Practical Uses for Offline Detection

Online thermal cameras certainly have their practical applications, but for quick, accurate screening, you might also consider using an offline device.

Event Screening

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, many businesses are still opting to temperature-check guests at their conferences, concerts, or other large events. A handheld thermal camera can quickly scan a person to detect their body temperature. Simply set the alarm to alert you to temperatures outside the normal range of a healthy person. You’ll be instantly alerted to a potentially ill incomer before they have the chance to get others sick.

Travel Screening

Travel hubs can be a hot spot for hidden infections and diseases. As such, fever screening travelers at airports, railways, and bus terminals can quickly stop the spread of harmful bacteria and other pathogens. A thermal camera at a security checkpoint can help keep our communities safer.

Building Inspections

If you need to thoroughly and efficiently assess your building for an inspection, consider using a thermal camera. It will be able to see inside the spaces you can’t see, alerting you to any current damages or possible future problems. With an offline, handheld camera, you’ll be alerted to issues in real-time so they can be addressed quickly.

Let TherCam Help

Whether you need constant monitoring or help with a quick project, on and offline thermal cameras can help streamline your processes. TherCam’s wide range of user-friendly, adaptable cameras are applicable in nearly every industry. If you’re unsure what track is best for you, browse our helpful selection of resources, or contact us today to speak with a thermal imaging professional about the right camera for your needs.