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VIDEO: FLIR unveils handheld marine scope

At the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, FLIR Systems introduced its First Mate MS (marine scope), a product that company president Andrew C. Teich said shows how FLIR is trying to lower the cost of thermal imaging to the level of the everyday boater.

"The handheld unit is small, light and marinized," Teich said. "And we've brought the price point down to just under $2,000. This is a product that can get thermal imaging into the hands of every boater."

Weighing 12 ounces, the unit is operated via three buttons. The First Mate MS uses the same thermal imaging technology as FLIR'S Navigator II, Voyager and M-Series systems. The battery-powered camera displays its video on a built-in screen. It can be operated via vessel power, too, and you can send the video to most multifunction displays.

Click play to see how the First Mate MS and its features work.

FLIR held a media event during the show aboard a 131-foot cruise boat to showcase its products and marine electronics products from Raymarine (FLIR owns Raymarine.). The event was held to thank dealers and members of the media for their support and to allow them to use FLIR and Raymarine products on the water and at night, Teich said.

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FLIR was founded in 1978. It entered the recreational marine market in 2006. "The [thermal imaging] technology is not a new technology, and I think that is what a lot of mariners in the recreational marine market are understanding now," FLIR senior sales manager Tom Milanette said. "We've made thermal cameras for maritime applications and military applications for a very long time now. There is a tremendous amount of technology here and we've put it in a compact thermal imaging scope."

— Chris Landry

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