Thermal Imaging Experiment (Includes Source)
“Thermal Imaging Experiment (Includes Source).” BGSU COVID-19 Stories. BGSU University Libraries, 29 June 2020, lib.bgsu.edu/COVID19stories/items/show/943. Accessed 2 July 2020.
|Title||Thermal Imaging Experiment (Includes Source)|
|Description||Inspired by stories of people trying to use thermal cameras to provide an additional measure of protection in public spaces, I remembered that many people have a thermal camera, but do not realize it. The bottom of a Nintendo Switch right Joycon houses an IR camera, though few games use it. Using the PetitComputer software from the Nintendo eShop, it is possible to program the console and access this camera on an unmodified console, which greatly increases it's accessibility compared to traditional homebrew aproaches.|
What's nice about this setup is that since the right joycon can detach from the console, it can be placed away from the console and viewer at a social distance.
Ultimately this experiment was a failure, however it did result in a functional night vision camera, and it was a fun learning experience.
If you want to try this yourself, be aware of a few caveats.
* Even in proper thermal camera setups, skin temperature is not the greatest indicator of body temprerature. Read this BBC article on thermal imaging and the coronavirus for more information. https://www.bbc.com/news/health-52940951
* I couldn't get good results from the camera without using the built in IR flashlight to bathe the subject in IR lights, which invalidates the result since the light is coming from the joycon and not the body.
* Updated pictures are slow, and making them render faster quickly reduces quality to unusable levels. Detach right joycon to operate.
* This hardware is meant for games and toys, and is calibrated for that purpose. It's questionable if these results would be useful even if I could get it to work.
I attached a sample picture of myself wearing a BGSU shirt to show what it can do.
|Date||June 28, 2020 - 7:59AM|
|Place||Bowling Green, Ohio|