I read about the new FlirOne personal Thermal infrared (IR) imager / iPhone attachment in the SkyMall magazine (I know!) on a recent flight and had to check it out. This little gizmo attaches to an iPhone and sends a Thermal IR signal to the camera so that a user can image heat and temperature differences.
Measuring the thermal properties of vegetation, in particular leaves, provides useful information on plant biological activity, health, and stress and a hand-held thermal camera like this could be a value addition to an Ecosynth computer vision ecologist's toolkit. I would love to strap one on a copter and fly over the canopy here in Panama at different times of the day (night-time flights anyone?).
It looks like the FlirOne is only sold in the U.S. right now and only for iPhones for $349, but I think an iPhone with a FlirOne is a reasonable research purchase, right?
So can I borrow an iPhone to send it a few hundred feet above the forest?
Image Credit: FLIR Systems Inc. http://www.flir.com/flirone/gallery.cfm