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Hot or not? Find out for sure using your phone and the new Flir One thermal camera

The original Flir One thermal imaging camera, which was built into a smartphone case, took the CES tech show by storm in 2014, and now the company is back with the Flir One 2015, the second generation version of the camera. This time it’s a plug-in accessory for your smartphone, and available for both iOS and Android.

Why would you want a thermal imaging camera? Simple, it sees things your own eyes can’t. Using an enhanced version of Flir’s Lepton thermal camera and some clever multi-spectral dynamic imaging technology it calls MSX, the Flir One 2015 can effectively see in the dark, penetrate smoke or dense fog, find heat sources, check for heat loss, and even see if food is properly cooked.

Related: Read our review of the Flir FX, a security camera with FBI-grade tech, that thinks it’s a GoPro

Other scenarios where a thermal camera would be potentially useful include security — you can find people in complete darkness through their heat signature — emergency use, checking for leaking water pipes, and pinpointing the location of animals when out observing.

This time, the camera has a more powerful sensor that can ‘see’ temperatures ranging from -4 degrees to 248 degrees Fahrenheit/-20 to 120 degrees centigrade. It’s much lighter at 32 grams, but comes with its own built in battery, so it doesn’t rob your phone of power. It also automatically adjusts itself, and produces higher resolution images than the first model.

An app accompanies the Flir One 2015 and opens up the creative aspect of the camera. There are various color palette options, the chance to capture still images, and several modes including timelapse, macro, and panorama shots. Pictures taken with the Flir One 2015 can be shared on social networks through the app.

This is only the start of the Flir One 2015’s capabilities, and the company has produced a software development kit for developers, so we will hopefully see other apps using its ability in the future.

The Flir One 2015 thermal camera accessory for iOS is on sale from June 25 through Flir’s website, where it costs $250. A MicroUSB-equipped version for Android will be released in July for the same price.