Thermal Camera Ring

Noah Feehan came up with POINTY.CAM by combining of his love of cooking with his love of hardware hacking. It’s a thermal imager for chefs that allows anyone to see a pixelated heat map of whatever they’re pointing at.

The POINTY.CAM ring spinning in a light box
Gif by Noah Feehan

Noah tapped me to design an enclosure that’d be easy to slip on for spot-checking a steak in a pan or pudding cooling in the fridge. I built the CAD in SolidWorks and went through a couple of printed iterations before deciding it was ready to sic on real users. You can print your own version of the enclosure by following along with this tutorial on Thingiverse. He’s also got more details on his site.

The enclosure prints as two halves that don’t require any support or post-processing. As with earlier ring designs, I made the sizing parametric so I could accommodate a wide variance between hands. The version shown here fits a size 10 ring finger.

An exploded view of the camera and case components

There are some further designs I’d like to prototype if this gets some traction as a consumer product. I’d play with larger sizes and compliant materials to make sure anyone could easily slide it on with one hand without it slipping off while multitasking in the kitchen. The goal would be to balance the bulk of the device (where a larger design means awkward handling and a loose fit for most people) with accessibility (where a small ring size means people with larger hands are refused at the door).

POINTY.CAM is based off of Noah’s earlier work with the GridEye thermal imager. POINTY.CAM is an open source project, and you should check it out for yourself.