With Mobile World Congress (MWC) set to kick of in Barcelona on Monday, Cat Phones is introducing its S60 smartphone with a thermal imaging camera -- a device it hopes will capture the market’s attention.
The S60 will feature an embedded thermal sensor from FLIR. Like the other phones in Cat’s S family of devices, the latest model is designed to exceed military specifications for use in rugged and dangerous environments. The company is marketing the phone as ideal for professionals who frequently work in the field, such as builders, electricians, emergency first responders, and utility workers.
Thermal Imaging for Use in the Field
The S60’s thermal camera can be applied to a variety of use cases, including detecting heat loss around windows and doors; spotting moisture and missing insulation; identifying overheating electrical appliances and circuitry; and seeing in complete darkness, according to the company.
“The thermal camera visualizes heat that is invisible to the naked eye, highlighting temperature contrasts,” the company said in a statement. “It can pick up heat and measure surface temperatures from a distance of up to 50 to 100 feet, and see through obscurants such as smoke.”
Cat said the S60 is also the most waterproof smartphone on the market, able to operate at depths up to 5 meters (about 16 feet) for up to a full hour, essentially allowing it to function as a professional underwater camera.
The phone is being produced by Bullit Mobile, which holds the global license to build smartphones for Caterpillar, which is better known for making agricultural, construction, and industrial vehicles and equipment than technology products. The Cat Phones brand, in turn, develops rugged mobile devices for use in challenging environments.
Better Than Military Specs
Besides the appeal of its thermal imaging capabilities, Cat Phones is hoping the durable design will appeal to on-site professionals. The S60 also features a Corning Gorilla Glass 4 touch screen and a strengthened die cast frame, allowing it to survive a fall of up to 1.8 meters (about 6 feet) onto a concrete surface. The company said the handset exceeds the 810G specification for devices used by the U.S. military.
In addition to being waterproof, the company said the S60 is also dustproof and features a super-bright display, allowing it to be viewed even in strong sunlight.
Cat has also packed the S60 with plenty of other features in addition to its rugged design. Its 7-inch HD multi-touch screen supports use with wet fingers and gloved hands. It also comes with a 13MP underwater main camera with dual flash along with a 5MP front-facing camera. The device runs on the Snapdragon 617 octa-core processor and comes with 3 GB of RAM. The S60 will be available for sale later this year, starting at $599.
Image Credit: The Cat S60 rugged smartphone (pictured above) courtesy of FLIR Systems and Cat Phones.