Infrared Explorer: Scientific Imaging for Science Education

Scientists have long relied on imaging to visualize invisible phenomena and thus advance science. The Infrared Explorer (IE) is a smartphone app that IFI is developing to realize the educational promise of scientific imaging — using low-cost thermal imaging as an example.

Seeing science with the Infrared Explorer

As a mobile app, the Infrared Explorer can be used anywhere to capture thermal images, record videos, and share them through email or social networks. The app has its own galleries for storing images and videos, which also provide many functionalities for managing, editing, and annotating images and videos. As a science app, the Infrared Explorer includes data analysis and visualization tools that support science practices. For instance, it has built-in temporal and spatial graphs for studying the time evolution and space distribution of temperature. It also features an online video store that has scores of recorded videos for users to download and analyze, allowing the app to be useful even for those who do not have a thermal camera.

Galleries, tools, and an online video store in the Infrared Explorer

About the Logo

This is what a thermal camera sees when a piece of dry paper cut in a yin-yang shape is placed on top of an open cup of water that is slightly cooler than the ambient due to evaporation. For a scientific explanation, see this page.


Infrared Explorer for Android
Approved by FLIR


💬 This app is designed for multiple users to share on the same device. To log in, select "Admin" and use "0" as the password.

🚧 This app does not work on Android Version 13. We are developing a new cross-platform version that is expected to be released by the end of 2024.


From sensing to imaging


Thermal equilibration
Thermal conductivity
Herschel's discovery
Opening and closing of tulips
Thermogenesis of moths
Paper on cup
Hydration of paper
Respiratory rate
Acid-base titration


This project is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under grant numbers #2054079 and #2329563. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material, however, are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of NSF.