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Take Thermal Selfies with Wonderfully Weird Flir

BARCELONA -- Last year's Flir One iPhone case stole our attention with its ability to turn your phone into a thermal imaging camera, and the accessory has become even more dynamic for 2015. Shipping later this year, the next-gen version of Flir One is an Android or iOS dongle that frees you from the bulk of its predecessor and, most importantly, allows you to take thermal selfies.

Like the original Flir One, the next-gen model works with the Flir app to give your smartphone Predator-like thermal vision, complete with a suite of filters that can highlight things such as the coldest and hottest spots. The device has been reduced in size from a thick smartphone case to a small, rectangular dongle that attaches to your phone's charging port, with a dual-lens construction that packs a more powerful thermal camera.

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Since Flir One is no longer confined to a case, it adds less heft to your smartphone and can even be flipped around for front-facing use. I got a kick out of taking thermal selfies, and it's easy to imagine a sea of orange-and-blue self-portraits on Instagram once the accessory hits the wild.

Aside from its improved sensor, Flir One now automatically calibrates itself rather then requiring you to press a button. The dongle retains the case version's 350-mAh battery, so you'll be able to use it for about an hour without losing battery power.

We've been impressed with Flir One's thermal camera tech ever since we saw last year's model, and it's nice to see the device both grow more compact and make its way to Android devices. The accessory launches later this year; no pricing has been announced, but we expect it to be similar in cost to its $349 predecessor. 

Mike Andronico is an associate editor at Tom's Guide. Follow Mike @MikeAndronico and on Google+. Follow us @TomsGuide, on Facebook and on Google+