You Can't Hide Your Heat

If it's a threat, it's hot!

Security professionals have many different clubs in their professional bags. From cameras to ID badges, we have lots of things we can use to control access to the facilities we protect. As professionals, it is incumbent upon us to stay abreast of the latest technological developments in our field, and I'm here to tell you – there's a new game in town: thermal security cameras.

Unlike the human eye, thermal imagers don't use visible-light to make a picture, they use heat. This gives thermal security cameras distinct advantages over low-light and daylight cameras when lighting is impractical, too expensive or where long-range performance is required. For years, thermal security cameras have been seen as too expensive, so we have made due with less expensive – and less capable – options, like night-vision devices and infrared illuminated cameras. Why? With high-quality thermal security cameras on the market for under $5,000, if we don't take a hard look at this technology we are selling ourselves, and those who pay us to keep them secure, short.

Demonstration of NVG (above) and Thermal Imaging (below) in a no-light situation   
Infrared Illuminated camera (above) and Thermal Imaging camera (below) when viewing the same target in a low-light situation  

These images (left) demonstrate the utility of NVGs (above) and thermal security cameras (below) in a no-light situation.  The other images (right) demonstrate the utility of Infrared Illuminated cameras (above) and thermal security cameras (below) when viewing the same target in a low-light situation at ranges beyond 50'.

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