Hide and Go Seek

Thermal Imaging

Valerie McGilvrey

We’ve all be there, on one side of the door or the other. I’ve been served about five times in my life and each time I looked out of my peephole I saw a nicely dressed person standing on my front porch holding papers. Fear strikes and the first reaction is to not answer that door. If you’re trying to serve me you can expect to stand there and door knock until your knuckles bleed. I’m not answering until I know what I’m getting served for.

One morning a process server came a knocking. He was rude, he yelled, he taunted and I finally grabbed my video camera placing the lens up to the peephole and started recording him screaming my name in the front yard saying insane and irrational things. I thought he pulled a cell phone from his front pocket and was text messaging someone then he said calmly, “I see you standing there.” What? Of course I opened the door. I also told him where he could really “go” and I’m pretty sure I scared the poor little guy because he didn’t serve me.

He was scared because I recorded him on video using a thermal imaging camera to peer behind the front door of my home.

Lawful? Depends on who you ask. Ethical? Depends on the situation. Useful? Heck ya!

Later service was accepted and the entire civil suit was settled and then I befriended the invasive and creative process server from Houston. I drilled him with a million questions face to face after he accepted an invitation to meet me at my office. The thermal camera he held was about the size of a iPhone and was very slender. The little box had a hefty price tag of over $8000.00 and was scarce to boot. I’ll never know if the device wasn’t popular because of its price or if the functions were limited, but now I can’t find the actual model that I caught on film in 2010.



Seek Thermal can be used with any sized screen smart phone
and is compatible with Android and iPhone.

I can only imagine the fun and success that this process server had with his little pocket thermal camera, but there’s a better deal with the unveiling of the Flir One iPhone attachment. I love knowing that I can save thousands of dollars on a gadget that would be so useful for investigations, process servers and contractors.

Heat signatures in the form of a hand print may be seen on any surface hours after touching. Even more recently Joseph Dalu showed an example of his thermal imaging use in his countermeasure operations revealing a hand print left by an intruder who placed an illegal monitoring device inside his clients home.

Flir notes on their site that this device is expected to be compatible with future iPhone models and iOS software updates so this attachment won’t be an obsolete invention restricting a user to only the iPhone 5. I’m not sure how realistic this is due to the size difference between the 5 and the new iPhone 6. The attachment requires the phone to be inserted into a cradle encasing the phone with thermal imaging elements. Really though, if I could only use the Flir One with the 5, I would be keeping a few of them around just for the Flir One.


I would love for you to share this article on LinkedIN however their API is malfunctioning that would allow you to do this.
Until LinkedIn corrects the problem on their end you may use the direct link
to share with your LinkedIn connections and groups. Just copy the link and paste it into your update window.
The article will show up below and then you can click share!