Compact Series Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is Thermal Imaging Technology?

A:  In short, thermal imaging is the process of using the temperature of an object to produce an image. Thermal imagers work by detecting and measuring the amount of infrared radiation that is emitted and reflected by objects or people to visually render temperature. A thermal camera makes use of a device known as a microbolometer to pick up this energy just outside the range of visible light, and project it back to the viewer as a clearly defined image.


Q: What is the difference between Night vision and Thermal Imaging?

A: Night vision devices function by taking small amounts of ambient light and amplifying them in low light scenarios. Thermal cameras operate by measuring the amount of heat emitted by people or objects and creating a visual depiction of that energy. While both are extensively used in specific fields, they typically have very different applications.


Q: What are “Heat Signatures”?

A: In the simplest terms, a heat signature is the visible representation of the exterior temperature of an object or person. 


Q: What is that clicking noise that the camera is making?

A:  There’s no need to worry, this is simply the noise your camera makes while you are shifting it between different fields of view. The noise you are hearing is the camera focusing and calibrating the image to achieve the highest resolution possible.


Q: How do I take pictures and/or Video?

A: The controls for taking either are located at the bottom of your screen. Clicking the center button will initiate the capture, and the two small circles directly beneath it let you choose between still pictures and video. When the camera is set to picture, the center button will appear as a solid white button with a circle around it. When the camera is set to video, the center button will change to a red button surrounded by a white circle. Swiping back and forth across either button will allow you to toggle between the two options. Press once to begin recording video, and a second time to stop the recording.



Q: Where can I find the Seek Thermal App?

A: The Seek Thermal Application can be downloaded on your smartphone with a valid internet connection from iTunes or Google Play respectively.



*The Android APK is not available for direct download outside of Google Play, and cannot be provided by Customer Support. 


Q: What are the support hours?

A:  Standard support hours are 8AM-5PM PT, Monday through Friday. If no one is available to take your call, please leave a voicemail with your questions and your email address, and someone will respond a.s.a.p. via phone or email. 


Q: How do I change color settings in the Seek Thermal App?

A:  To access these settings, visit the Thermal Modes settings screen (accessible by tapping the icon in the lower right corner of the main app screen). While there, look for the color palette button ()in the lower right-hand corner of the screen. You can also access this feature from the main SETTINGS ()icon from the bottom of the main screen under ‘Palettes’.

Q: What is thermal+ for in the Seek app? 

A:  On Compact imagers, the Thermal+ function allows you to display images side by side in normal and thermal view. Normal images come from your mobile device's native camera, and appear on the left, while the thermal image appears on the right. Any photos taken with Thermal+ enabled may be reviewed in the app's media gallery. 

To align the thermal image with the normal image, simply double-tap the normal image to engage alignment mode. You may then pan and magnify the non-thermal image until it aligns with the thermal image. The pan and mag coordinates will display centered towards the top of the screen. Once you are satisfied with the alignment, double-tap again to lock your settings in place.


Q: How do I change Temperature units in the Application? 

A: Temperature units can be modified in the app by hitting the settings icon at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen and selecting ‘Preferences’ which is the first option in the black scroll bar. Once you do this, the ‘Temperature units’ option will be the first option to select, and you can choose between Fahrenheit, Celsius, and Kelvins.

Q: What is the difference between Normal and Full Frame?

A:  Normal is the default mode which utilizes an automatic display to provide consistency and high quality to the images you’re seeing. The sidebar will display a temperature range with two numbers to indicate the highest and lowest temperatures in the scene. By contrast, images in full frame are more contoured and provide the most truly accurate representation of a thermal image available. With an additional 8 temperature values to give a full range, this option will provide more clarity as to what colors correspond to precise temperatures.

Q: How do I use ‘Span and Level’ on the CompactPRO? 

A:  Span and Level is a unique feature for the CompactPro which other units don’t have. This mode is useful when you want to focus on a certain range of temperatures and isolate them from other unimportant temperatures.


  1. Select ‘Span and Level’ from the Modes icon.
  2. Determine what temperature you are looking for in the frame of view you are pointing the camera at.
  3. Slide the two temperature indicators on the right slide bar to the range of temperatures you desire.
  4. Using the color indicator bar on the left together with the right slide bar, your desired temperature range will now be isolated from other temperatures in your field of view. The right color bar will now be fixed between your desired temperatures as long as you are in ‘Span and Level’ mode, and the color palette range will shrink and stretch to be within the range you set.

Q: How do I change the Watermarks on images?

A: By default, the Seek Thermal app will apply a watermark of the Seek logo on the corner of any thermal images you take. There are also options to include the date/time of your image as well as your location. All three of these watermarks can be enabled or disabled by visiting the Image Preferences section within the app settings.

Just tap the "gear” button in the lower right corner to reveal settings, and then go to Image Preferences > Image & Video > Watermarks.

Q: Can I use a Compact with a drone? 

A: No. While a small number of drone enthusiasts have confirmed this possibility, we do not offer support for users attempting to operate Compact’s while in flight.

Q: Are there any restrictions on availability?

A: Depending on the region or country you are located in, there may be some limitations on obtaining a Compact imager. For a more information on this topic, click here.

Q: Which of the Compact’s should I get?

A: This question is highly subjective because it all depends on the intended use of your camera. For more in-depth analysis of each Compact imager’s unique applications, click here.


Q: What do I do if my USB port is facing the wrong direction?

A: Some Android devices have micro USB ports that are reversed, with the wider part of the port aligned with the device screen. This results in the Seek Compact imager pointing at the user.   

To reverse the orientation of the port, and point the imager in the proper direction, an adapter can be used. Two adapters that have been found to work well are:




Q: Does the device work with iPad/ Android Tablets?

A: Yes. While the app has not been optimized for the larger format display of tablet devices, the Compact will work just fine on any iPad with a lightning port running iOS 8.0 or newer. While they have not been tested against all Android tablets, it has been shown to work on select models. If a tablet is running Android 4.3 or newer, or has a native rear camera, and a micro USB port, it should be able to download and install the Seek Thermal app from Google Play. The other Android requirements outlined here still apply.

  • Please note that the imager and app are intended for use connected to a device with a native layout that is vertical (portrait rather than landscape) with a port located along the bottom of the device. If the device has a landscape orientation, or if the port is located along one of the long sides, this could result in a rotation of the thermal image or some app controls being out of alignment.  

Q: What Is Powered USB OTG?

A: Your Android phone has to support USB on the Go because the Compact will not function without it. USB On-The-Go, often abbreviated to USB OTG or just OTG, is a specification that allows USB devices to act as a host, allowing other USB devices like a USB flash drive, digital camera, mouse, or keyboard to be attached to them. Most newer smartphones support OTG, and if not it can sometimes be enabled by certain software. 

Unfortunately, not all devices that support USB OTG provide power to the attached USB devices. Because the Seek Compact imagers are not self-powered, they must be able to draw power from the USB connection.

With all the combinations of device models and software versions, it can be difficult to state with confidence which devices will or will not meet these requirements. If you aren't sure if your device supports USG OTG, you can find some helpful information here

If you can confirm your device does support USB OTG, you will also need to confirm that it provides power. Unfortunately, this is not something that is readily searchable on the web or testable via software. You would have to try connecting a USB device that doesn't have its own power supply and see if it works. Portable USB hard drives are a good thing to test with.

If your phone does not provide power, many people have found success using a cable adapter to attach an external battery pack. 

 Here are some examples of the types of adapters and devices customers have tried: 

Y Cable Adapter

Battery Pack


Q: What are the Requirements for iOS?

A: The iOS model of the Seek Compact imager is compatible with every device from the Iphone5 up to current models. You cannot use the imager with any iOS device featuring the older 30-pin connector, even with an adapter. 

The specific requirement are as follows: 



iOS version 8.0 or newer

8-pin "Lightning" connector port




Q: Is there cross platform compatibility between devices?

A: No. Compact units with an iOS port can only support iOS devices, and those with Android connectors can only support Android. 


Q: Do I need an internet connection? 

A:  No. You will, however, need an internet connection when downloading the Seek Thermal app, or any updates.


Q: What are safe operating conditions for my Compact? 

A: While Compact imagers can detect temperatures from -40C to 330C, it is not recommended to operate them in environments that you would not feel safe for typical smartphones or people.


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