Pine64 is working on several official PinePhone accessories that add features like wireless charging, NFC, or a physical keyboard. But independent developers have also developed their own add-ons including a fingerprint reader and a 3D-printed keyboard.
One of the newest DIY PinePhone add-on projects is a thermal imaging solution called PineEye.
In a nutshell, PineEye is a custom board with a Panasonic AMG8833 infrared temperature sensor module. It connects to the pogo pins beneath the phone’s back cover, but there’s no need to cut a hole in the case, because developer jnavarro7, designed the PineEye board to work with a custom-designed Flex PCB breakout board that slips inside the case and extends a connector that can reach to the back of the phone.
At this point, it doesn’t seem like there’s very much you can do with the PineEye thermal sensor – the hardware can be detected when connected to a PinePhone running GNU/Linux distributions including Mobian or Manjaro, but it doesn’t seem like there’s a thermal camera app that actually lets you capture imagery yet.
But this isn’t the first PinePhone thermal camera project – developer Martijn Braam built one earlier this year, and Braam is also the developer of Megapixels, the best camera app available for the PinePhone so far. So it’s entirely conceivable that if enough people start using thermal cameras with their PinePhones, Braam or another developer might be interested in creating apps that make them useful.