SEEK had worked to develop a new low-cost, long-wave infrared imaging sensor. Building on that technology, they envisioned their first product to market: a smartphone accessory thermal camera that could be offered to consumers at a remarkably accessible price.
This meant integrating the sensor electronics, molded lens, custom shutter for non-uniformity correction, and USB attachment, and packaging it all in a rugged enclosure.
For that endeavor, SEEK partnered with Sherpa as their sole mechanical engineering resource. Together with their leadership, manufacturing, electrical and software teams, we developed the SEEK Compact camera in a fixed-focus format with SKUs for compatibility with Apple and Android phones. Its novel voice coil internal shutter was eventually patented.
Expanding the Range
Our robust mechanical solutions then set the foundation for an expanded range of products that leveraged many common parts from previous designs. For example, we developed a new user-focusable narrow field of view (NFOV) version, followed by a user-focusable wide field of view (WFOV) option. Both times we utilized injection molding and overmolded plastics to add functionality at minimized costs.
For the Reveal, a standalone thermal camera with display and built-in flashlight, we designed and integrated a new optical module with multiple SKUs for different lens types. Finally, a Pro line accommodated a new higher resolution imaging sensor. Sherpa was responsible for all original mechanical engineering on these products and assisted with manufacturing, assembly, and testing.
Our partnership with SEEK lasted over numerous subsequent projects, on both the product development and process engineering side.