Supermans xray vision with an IR camera?

Superman looks through walls?

Excellent…Now I have a new logo for my Thermal imaging site…



How do you explain to your client that you can’t see through walls? Here is what I do, and you are welcome to steal it.

When I pull out the camera and start to scan the interior walls, the man (usually a couple), being a guy and liking toys, comes over and looks. I show him the typical thermal bridging of a stud wall. He says, “Cool! You can see through the walls.” I respond, “No, I am just seeing the very slight surface temperature differences on the wall caused by the heat conduction through the studs.” Then he looks at me and starts to get glazed over eyes, but, by this time, we are on the other end of the room and his wife is over with the Realtor looking at paint and such. I turn the camera over to scan his wife and say, “Hey, your wife is HOT!”

This brings on a laugh, but also makes my point, on a subconscience level. he is looking at his wife through the camera and is not able to look through her clothes. Therefore, the camera cannot see through solid objects. The combination of the funny sexual inuendo (She is HOT) and his looking through the camera and not seeing through her clothes, burns in his brain that the camera cannot see through solid objects.

Plus, it always gets a laugh.

Hope this helps;

An easy way to demonstrate IR imaging is to place an ice cube or something else cold or hot in contact with the back of a cookie sheet or similar piece of material. Have our customer run his hand over the sheet and say “You can feel the ice cube, but you can’t actually “see” behind the metal can you? – pause–My IR camera does the same thing by sensing the temperature on the surface.”

Hey I have to admit, considering the source of the PR, I have believe it is is a well thought out article. Sometimes advertising isn’t an exact science, and makes no sense to the some people, but works for others.

Example: “Sell the Sizzle, not the steak.” You and me know that sizzle has nothing to do with the actual steak’s tastiness, but inspires hungry people to order it.


With an important difference: The sizzle is real seeing behind wall is not.:shock:

But he sees the temperature differences caused by different problems, behind the wall. So in essence he is able to see thru the wall and report on the problems, so I don’t have a problem with what he is saying. I don’t believe he is trying to mislead anyone.

Believe what you wish. But seeing behind the wall is only an illusion without an x-ray machine.

If you tell people that you can see through walls, then you are now liable for
everything behind those walls (even though the IR cameral cannot see 99% of
what is inside the walls).

There are many kinds of problems that are not related to temperature differences
and the IR camera cannot see any of those kinds of defects. Also, if it has not
rained in a while, it cannot see a moisture leak if everything is dry. etc…
It is good to understand the limitations of the IR camera and communicate
within those terms.

We, as inspectors, have to set the proper expectation or we can mislead
the client into thinking that we can see everything that is not visible… which
is not true in any form or fashion.

** An IR camera can only see the temperature difference that
transfers to the outer surface of a wall (and if the Delta T, or
temperature difference, cannot make it to the outer surface
then we cannot see it).**

To imply that we have an X-ray machine is a lie. Infrared waves are not
even on the same wave length as X-ray. See image below.

The average consumer has no idea what an infrared camera does and so I think it fine (although technically incorrect) to say “It’s sort of like x-ray vision although it can’t actually see through walls” to give them an idea of what it is.

That sounds like a simple verbal explanation that would help someone. I
don’t think I would print that.

I find that pictures of thermal images is what helps the most, without
calling it X-ray.

I know this does not give a complete understanding, but it
helps the client start to understand, without calling it X-ray.

I agree, I wouldn’t print it, but I’d use it to upsell on the phone so that the average consumer can get some idea of what you are talking about.


I don’t have an IR camera, and my knowledge is limited, so I don’t even speak of it to anyone,(Except God when I pray for one) just trying to understand all the flags raised here, that’s all.

The main thing about all of this is to not “paint yourself” into a box
by publishing impossible printed claims about X-ray vision. One
good thing about this thread is the cool art work that we now have
by David P. Valley

Very cool David…:mrgreen:

Great Post Bill!!!


You don’t need a camera to take the courses offered by ITC or any other course provider. You can rent a camera for the course. If you feel this is for you then you can purchase your own.


Thanks Mario.
I was hoping it made sense.:slight_smile: