When we hear the words thermal imaging, a variety of products can come to mind. For me, the first thing that popped into my head when I heard that RIM has patented a real-time thermal imaging augmented reality display, was military use. What better way for RIM to make money then to bring to the market BlackBerry as the smartphone for military personnel - on or off the field. Or, let's swing into another market sector, the automotive. Imagine being able to drive at night and see potential dangerous animals on the road-side ahead via your tablet's screen. How about being the kid on the block with a BlackBerry thermal camera and playing a game of hide and seek on a dark night.
The possibilities of a thermal imaging feature on smartphones are great. Perhaps we will see this coming soon to BlackBerry devices, as within the patent abstract the description mentions the tech being 'real-time,' a phrase we have heard often being coupled with the QNX OS.
Here is the Abstract from the patent page:
THERMOGRAPHIC AUGMENTED REALITY DISPLAY IN AN ELECTRONIC DEVICE
AbstractAn electronic device is configured to capture thermal information of objects and subjects in real-time utilizing a camera or infrared sensors or utilizing a camera and infrared sensors. The electronic device comprises a display which can depict thermal or temperature information regarding objects or subjects overlaid or layered on image data of objects or subjects. Displayed temperature or thermal information can include numeric information corresponding to discrete or bounded or partially bounded areas of objects or subjects. Thermal information or temperature information can be combined with augmented-reality applications in an electronic device and shared with other electronic devices via one or more networks.
You can check out the full patent details on the US Patent Website here. Let us know types of uses you could see implemented with thermal imaging on BlackBerry devices in the comments!