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Flir Puts Its Brand On Security Cameras

Wilsonville, Ore. — Flir Systems, founded in 1978 as a supplier of thermal-imaging systems for the military and first responders, continues to expand its consumer-market presence with the launch of its first Flir-brand security cameras.

One camera doubles as a battery-powered action camera and as a dash cam.

In the consumer market, the Flir Flix FX nightvision cameras will join a Flir-brand thermal-imaging camera attachment launched last year for iPhones. New thermal-imaging attachments for iPhones and other smartphones are due around midyear.

Since its founding, the $1.5 billion publicly traded company has added commercial thermal-imaging systems, security cameras for commercial and military use, and radiation and biochemical sensing equipment.

In the consumer market, the company acquired the Raymarine recreational boating-equipment company in 2010, adding such products as radar and thermal imaging systems for boaters. Two years ago, it bought the Lorex consumer-security business, which offers visible-light DIY security cameras sold in big-box retailers. Flir also offers thermal-imaging gear for hunters.

To this consumer-security selection, Flir is adding a Flir-brand $199 indoor Wi-Fi camera and a $249 shielded outdoor Wi-Fi camera, which combines the indoor camera with a shielded housing. The indoor camera uses IR sensors to detect nighttime video motion up to 20 meters away. The outdoor camera delivers 60 meters of nighttime range through additional IR sensors on the outdoor housing. Daytime range is up to 200 meters. Both offer 160-degree field of view and wide dynamic range, the company said.

The Flir-brand consumer-security effort is led by senior VP/ chief marketing officer Travis Merrill, a former Samsung executive.

Flir-brand security products, Merrill said, will be differentiated from Lorex products and other consumer-security brands through such step-up technologies as a RapidRecap feature, which lets consumers use an Apple or Android smartphone to review activity occurring over as many as 24 hours in as little as a few seconds. Other differentiating features include night vision and a Smart Zone feature that triggers alerts or captures activity only when something moves within a user-defined portion of the camera’s field of view.

RapidRecap uses Flir’s Cloud server to create a smartphone-accessible video that simultaneously shows moving objects or people detected at different times of the day. All captured activity is compiled into abbreviated clips so that an entire day of video can be reviewed in as little as a few second, the company said. The moving objects, people or animals are superimposed on the background of the interior or exterior scene, with a time stamp superimposed on each moving object or person so that users can see what happened at specific periods of time.

With SmartZone, consumers use the Flir app to divide the camera’s field of view into a grid and choose the grid boxes that will trigger an alert when motion is detected.

The company’s app, available for iPhones and Android phones, also lets users program the cameras to send alerts whenever activity is detected, control multiple cameras simultaneously, create push notifications for specific events, monitor temperature and humidity, and communicate via two-way audio.

The indoor camera does triple duty as a dash cam and action camera when removed from its pedestal. A $49.99-suggested dash mount turns the indoor camera into a dash cam with accident detection via built-in accelerometer. A $69.99 waterproof sports case is compatible with camera-mounting accessories for mounting, for example, on helmets.

Flir cameras are available with three levels of subscription Cloud service, starting with a free tier providing Cloud storage of motion-triggered events dating back 48 hours. It lets users view three RapidRecaps per month. The Cloud Plus tier stores video going back seven days, with access to an unlimited number of recaps, at $9.99/month or $99.95/year. Flir Cloud Premium stores events up to 30 days and allows unlimited recaps for the most recent seven days at $19.99/ month or $199.99/ year.

The Flir Cloud will process out moving clouds and the sun moving in and out of clouds to prevent false alerts.

The camera has dual built-in batteries, one in the camera head and one in the detachable pedestal, to deliver up to four hours of backup power if household power is interrupted. The built-in battery delivers three to five hours of use with Wi-Fi off when used as a dash cam or action cam.

The products will be available in U.S. online and brick-and-mortar outlets starting next week, with other outlets bringing them on during their May resets. Distribution will include Amazon, Best Buy, BJ’s, Costco, B&H, Sam’s Club, The Home Depot, Micro Center, TigerDirect, P.C. Richard, Target, Price Smart and BrandsMart.

The company is also talking to electronics buying groups, Merrill said.