EDIT: I was working on a (/this) post about the stuff that people have done with Dexter Industries’ thermal infrared sensor, when it hit the shelves today (24/06/2011), so here is a more up to date version of it.
First off: some images
Dexter Industries’ thermal IR sensor, front view. image source
Dexter Industries’ thermal IR sensor, back and side views, respectively. image source
The cool thing about this sensor is that it can read temperatures of up to 380° C (700° Fahrenheit), more than double the amounts their NXT thermometers measure. And that with the same accuracy of .5 degrees Celsius!
Based around the MLX90614, the sensor has a resolution of 0.2 degrees Celsius. It can read “both the ambient temperature (the temperature of the air around the sensor) and the surface temperature of the object that the sensor is pointed towards” (source). So, since it’s a non-contact based thermometer, it can detect heat at a distance; a flame can be spotted up to 2 meters (6 feet) away.
He did the same with a glass of water, and also made a video of his rig. You can see those at his blog post over here.
With the introduction of their latest sensor, Dexter Industries also published a new manual wiki. The manual for their infrared imaging sensor is available over here, packed with descriptions, explanations and warnings. It’s for sale for just under 55 USD.
Here’s a (hopefully) full list of things people did with the sensor; if you did something new, or see something I missed, just leave a comment and I’ll add it: