Perks, Uses and Limitations of Infrared Thermometers

Perks, Uses and Limitations of Infrared Thermometers

Posted by Machine Sense on

In the modern-day, Infrared thermometers, or IR thermometers hold some significance, because of the huge number of infectious diseases out there. Yes, we are talking about COVID-19 too, but others may also cause a fever. The only way they stay assured is through regular temperature monitoring. It is one of the basic steps of health monitoring, and this is where the IR thermometers come into the picture. 

Infrared Thermometer – Its Importance

Infrared thermometers are the most popular among all the other types of thermometers available in the market. It is because these thermometers measure our body temperature without the risk of exposing us to germs. The sensors track the infrared rays emanating from an object and use them to measure elevations in body temperature. It is a no-contact thermometer, so you can measure temperature from a distance, thus reducing the chances of exposure. The results are displayed fast, in fact, within a few seconds. Infrared thermometers are used when:

  • The object to be measured is contained in a controlled atmosphere or vacuum
  • There is an electromagnetic field surrounding the object 
  • The object is in motion
  • Accurate surface temperature a fast response is required

The IR thermometers offer a wide range of temperature monitoring functions. These can be used to check the hot spots and the temperature of the electrical and mechanical equipment. Besides, IR thermometers can be used to measure the temperature of volcanos and geothermal spots, monitor the materials needed in the process of cooling or heating, locate the hot spots for the fire-fighting, controlling and calibrating, and for measuring the oven or heater temperature. Last but not least, these thermometers can also be used to measure human body temperature from a distance, and without touching. 

How to use an infrared thermometer

  • Going through the instructions is necessary for the person who is going to operate it. The indications slightly vary depending on the manufacturer.
  • Pre-setting the thermometer before using is a must.
  • IR thermometers should not be immersed in alcohol, water, or in any other liquids. We should go through all the disinfection and cleaning instructions for that particular type of thermometer we are using.
  • The thermometer must be placed in the place where it is going to be used 10 to 30 minutes before actually starting to use it. This is to make the thermometer adapt to the environment.
  • The surface area whose measurement we wish to take must be clean and dry and should not be covered at any cost.
  • The thermometer must be placed perpendicularly (at 90-degrees) to the area we wish to measure.
  • Each brand has a different required measurement distance (the distance between the thermometer and the subject to be measured).
  • We should always make sure that the sensor of the IR thermometer is clean and dry, otherwise, it is going to affect the accuracy of the results. 

Pros of Infrared Thermometers

  • It allows us to regularly monitor ourselves, thereby decreasing the risks of spreading COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.
  • These thermometers are known for showing rapid results. They show accurate results within a couple of seconds.
  • These thermometers are very compact and have very lightweight.
  • Using Infrared thermometers is extremely easy and simple.
  • These thermometers can be disinfected very easily and the cleaning process is simple too.
  • These thermometers are very convenient for public places where there is a continuous rush like restaurants, supermarkets, schools, airports, hospitals, etc.


  • The accuracy of Infrared thermometers gets reduced by excessive steam and dust. Now, you cannot simply find a public place free from dust and moisture, can you? Well, that renders the IR thermometers less accurate. 
  • There must be an adequate distance between the thermometer and the subject to be measured. If that distance is lowered or increased, the readings will come all wrong. 
  • The IR thermometer’s internal cavity must be clean before we use it and also after we use it. If not, then the accuracy might get compromised. 

Limitations and challenges

Everything has its limitations, so do IR thermometers. Let’s check some of the limitations of the Infrared thermometers.

  • IR thermometers can only measure the temperature of any surface. Sometimes the surface temperature has got nothing to do with the internal temperature. Especially in cold weather, our skin temperatures are naturally low, even if we have a fever. So, in that case, the IR thermometer is going to display a lower temperature reading, irrespective of the fever you have. So, our health issues will go undiagnosed, thereby imposing risks on others around us. It is harmful to us as well because we will be unaware of our health condition and won’t be able to take necessary actions to improve our health because of it.
  • We need to adjust our thermometers every time before measuring temperature, depending on the type of surface we wish to measure. This can be hectic because it isn’t feasible at all times, especially when a person is in a hurry. Adjusting these settings every time we use the thermometer can be exhausting and irritating as well.
  • These thermometers have a slight accuracy issue. This is because the readings obtained from surface probes are sometimes different from the ones obtained from IR thermometers for the same surface.
  • Infrared thermometers can get affected by a certain number of factors like – air particles, smoke, fog, dust, moisture, or frost.
  • The ambient temperature affects the readings of the IR thermometers.
  • These IR thermometers are incapable of seeing through liquids, glass, or any other transparent surfaces. These thermometers can’t see through them even when lasers or some other visible lights pass through these surfaces. So, if you point your IR thermometer towards your window while the window is closed, it is going to measure the temperature of the window surface only and not the outside temperature. 

The Effect of Ambient Temperature on Infrared Thermometers 

Nowadays you can see a temperature scanner in front of most public places, be it airports, shopping malls, restaurants, theatres, etc. These IR thermometers measure our skin temperatures accurately but sometimes our skin temperature is low irrespective of our health condition if the outside weather is chilly. Our skin temperatures can be decreased or increased based upon a lot of factors like – skin conditions, eating, drinking, clothes we are wearing, exercising, sunburn, outside temperature, etc. This is why we cannot rely fully on the results displayed by IR thermometers when it comes to accurate monitoring of our health. This is a crisis that everyone is worried about and needs an immediate solution.

IR Thermometers with OPX Technology

IR thermometers with inbuilt OPX technology are the solution to this ongoing crisis because these ensure that the results displayed are accurate, irrespective of the other factors. We have developed this technology at Machine Sense to help improve the situation we are in right now. As it involves the use of Artificial Intelligence-based sensors and geometric spatial sensors, it can easily filter out the effects of hot or cold weather. This technology guarantees to improve the scanning accuracy by 50% over other temperature scanners currently present in the market. Our company has already announced that they have started working on implementing this technology on its every model effectively. This OPX technology functions perfectly within a temperature range of 70 to 94 degrees. 

This revolutionary technology is way ahead of its time and it is going to be so popular that all the other thermometers are going to be obsolete in no time. The thermometers have inbuilt OPX technology that can successfully measure core body temperature. Want to hear more? Connect with us then!