What do a NASA scientist and your local handy-man
Due to the myriad applications that this simple technology has in everyday life, it has been adapted to suit everyday usage by laymen. Those people who like fixing their own things and working around the house can truly appreciate the capabilities of an infrared thermometer. Handheld or pocket infrared thermometers are the most convenient to use. Before any repairs take place, it is essential that the person who is going to perform the repairs discover how hot the broken appliance is so as to avoid burning of hands. Handheld infrared thermometers can be used to measure food temperatures in the process of cooking. This non-contact thermometer helps to maintain quality and prevent contamination of the food. Recently this inexpensive pocket device has become popular as a no-touch children's thermometer as well.
IR thermometers are as useful and important in research labs as they are in a home setting. In laboratories where exact temperature of chemicals, many of them dangerous, is vital, when in use as well as in storage, the IR thermometer is the perfect tool. Handheld infrared thermometers help monitor the temperatures while cooling or heating chemicals for experiments without contact and hence without contaminating the chemical. IR thermometers are extremely prolific instruments and can be used in innumerable combinations and experimental set-ups in laboratories. For instance in an apparatus designed by the NIST scientists, the pocket IR thermometer can serve as a qualitative measure of the contaminating IR energy emitted by the laser pointer.
Further research and development in the field of IR thermometers has also led to the creation of Infrared Scanning Systems that scans a larger area and infrared thermal imaging cameras that generate 2D images in which each pixel represents a temperature. These have found some military, medical and industrial applications. Although already used extensively, it is obvious that man is yet to harness the true potential of infrared thermometer and we will see many more radical applications in the near future.