What is thermal imaging technology?


Thermal radiation appears on the electromagnetic spectrum and features longer wavelengths than those of visible light. It is therefore generally invisible to human eyes.

But any object with a temperature above absolute zero emits a detectable amount of radiation. The higher an object’s temperature, the more radiation, or heat, that is emitted. Taking advantage of the temperature differences between objects, thermal cameras make the invisible thermal radiation “visible” in the form of heat zone images.

Advantages of thermal imaging


Unrivalled adaptability

The image reproduction of thermal cameras is not affected by lighting conditions – either extremely low light or even no light at all. And compared against visible light imaging, thermal cameras excel at overcoming weather conditions such as fog, smog, rain, and snow, so that they can work in virtually any environment, anytime.


Video content analysis

Thermal imaging offers an intrinsic advantage for video content analysis (VCA) – it renders objects with clear outlines that stand out against their background, even at great distances. Users can easily set up VCA rules to detect events with high accuracy – events such as line crossing, intrusions, and entering or exiting a predefined region.

Thermal imaging applications

Perimeter protection

Fire prevention

Temperature measurement


• Superior Environmental Adaptability

Thermal cameras are capable of capturing images all day and night, regardless of environmental factors.


• Extended distances
Compared to optical cameras, thermal detection covers greater distances and requires fewer devices to install.


• Better visuals
With thermal cameras, you can easily discover objects and potential risks otherwise invisible to conventional cameras. 


• Temperature anomaly detection
Thermal cameras can detect abnormal temperatures in key areas and trigger timely alarms to prevent fires.


• Dynamic fire detection
In areas where a fire has ignited, thermal cameras can help detect it in the early stages using a dynamic fire-detection algorithm.


• Heat distribution display
By producing a visible, heat-distribution image in real time, thermal cameras can be very useful, helping industrial parks easily locate problematic areas.


• Non-contact temperature measurement
Thermal cameras perform non-contact temperature measurement. Users can keep their operating equipment up and running throughout the inspection process, which helps technicians work safer and more efficiently.


Diversified applications

Rapid technological changes in thermal imaging recently has led to a decline in the cost of thermal products along with a rapid expansion in their applications across industries. Thermal imaging has gradually gone from niche installations to public markets.

This booming market is benefiting from a full range of technological innovations – such as detectors, lenses, and SoCs – along with innovations in the manufacturing processes. Thermal products are rolling out for industrial and handheld temperature measurement, driving assistance, and medical services, or as peripherals on drones and smart phones. 


Intelligent products

The popularization of AI technology in recent years has also promoted technological advances in thermal imaging, as more and more deep-learning-based thermal applications become available.

Creating deep-learning algorithms for smoke and fire detection, and vessel identification, Hikvision is pioneering the fusion of thermal imaging and AI 


Fused technologies and smart linkage

Bi-spectrum image fusion combines features from both thermal and optical images to create a unique hybrid image that provides extra details for users in the pursuit of high resolutions and smart applications.

Adding to image fusion within a bi-spectrum thermal camera, the smart linkage of thermal cameras with IP cameras puts the advantages of both into one system. Thermal cameras provide high-precision video analytics that are unhindered by weather conditions, and IP cameras offer HD video footage and facial recognition functions to facilitate event investigation.

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