FLIR Suspends Agreement With Feevr

By John Honovich, Published May 07, 2020, 10:28am EDT

Thermal manufacturer FLIR has suspended its agreement with Feevr (aka X.Labs), X.Labs said in a new legal filing, suing and blaming IPVM.

[UPDATE: X.Labs says they have signed a new agreement with FLIR though FLIR has not commented.]

[UPDATE 2: FLIR comments saying they are canceling the contract with X.Labs/Feevr.]

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This comes amidst a booming 'fever camera' market and a growing debate about the effectiveness and use of these devices.

Feevr Background

Feevr is an offering of Royal Holdings Technologies (aka X.Labs) launched on March 25, 2020. Feevr uses an Android device, FLIR thermal imager (the FLIR ONE Pro phone add-on), and an app to "detect individuals in a crowd with an elevated temperature", as these excerpts from their website below visualize:

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While companies claiming moving elevated temperature detection are generally charging $10,000 or more, Feevr is charging only a fraction of that, making it one of the lowest cost offerings in its category.

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FLIR Usage Issues - Accuracy and SDK License

IPVM has reported potential issues with Feevr's FLIR usage, both on accuracy and using the FLIR SDK.

As we explained previously, the FLIR One Pro they use is 10x less accurate than, e.g., FLIR's FDA approved thermal gun, as we responded to X.Labs CISO:

FDA approved thermal guns typically have more higher accuracy specifications. For example, the FLIR EXTech IR200 specifies "is accurate to 0.5°F (0.3°C)" which is much more accurate than the FLIR One Pro which has "Measurement Accuracy ±3°C (5.4°F) or ±5%".

Moreover, FLIR's spokesperson reinforced that problem, confirming to IPVM:

We do not recommend the FLIR ONE Pro or Lepton-based devices for this use case.

Indeed, FLIR's specifications are clear:

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That is nowhere close enough to the precision needed to determine the fine differences between 'normal' body temperatures ~98°F and 'fevers' at ~100°F.

Secondly, the FLIR SDK License Agreement prohibits the use of FLIR devices, like the FLIR ONE Pro that Feevr uses, from apps like Feevr's:

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While FLIR declined to comment on any legal discussions, they confirmed the FLIR SDK clause about not marketing for medical or health purposes.

X.Labs told us that:

Feevr doesn't use the flir SDK. Feevr uses it's own custom app witha FLIR camera.

Surely, Feevr uses its own custom app but Feevr needs to access the temperature data from the FLIR thermal sensor which is what the FLIR SDK provides.

Suspended Agreement

FLIR has now suspended its agreement with X.Labs, the company said in a legal filing, in which they sued and blamed IPVM. The complaint says:

IPVM’s false, misleading, disparaging, and deceptive statements caused X.Labs’ supplier, Flir, to suspend its agreement with X.Labs for a period of time.

X.Labs did not explain what specific agreement was suspended by FLIR or what the company would now do, given the actions of the company's core thermal component supplier.

Update: The complaint also notes that "X.Labs also has supplier contracts, notably with Flir." Presumably, the agreement being suspended is that supplier contract. However, it is not detailed what that contract covers, e.g., is that simply for discounts or does that restrict the ability to buy or use FLIR components (e.g., the FLIR Pro One is readily available for sale on Amazon) or does it impact X.Labs ability to use FLIR's software or brand, etc. All of these elements would affect the impact on X.Labs.

FLIR declined to comment on X.Labs' statement here.

Feevr Touted FLIR, IPVM Reached Out To FLIR

The cause of IPVM's inquires and reporting into Feevr's relationship with FLIR is simple. Feevr touted being 'Powered by FLIR' when they launched in March in a video the company has now removed. We saved a copy and share the relevant excerpt below:

As part of our ongoing world-leading coverage of such products, we reached out to FLIR, because Feevr was a new offering and X.Labs used FLIR as validation.

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Back in March, Feevr's homepage explicitly called out COVID-19 as shown below:

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In response, FLIR provided us the information reported above about the accuracy concerns, applicability, and SDK risks.

What Next For FLIR and Feevr

What happens next is unclear. In X.Lab's legal filing, the company explained:

The Feevr system includes a proprietary AI-based mobile app integrated into a smartphone connected to a thermal imaging camera, such as the Flir One Pro camera.

As X.Labs alludes, it is possible that the Feevr app connects to another thermal imaging camera. How that would impact the company depends on the capabilities of whatever thermal imaging camera they choose.

Certainly, the Android-based approach provides a lower cost structure than rivals but the use of an add-on camera increases challenges of incorporating a thermal device with sufficient accuracy to "detect individuals in a crowd with an elevated temperature".

Update March 12, 2020 - X.Labs Says New FLIR Agreement

X.Labs says they have a new agreement with FLIR though FLIR has not yet commented on the matter.

X.Labs announced "the signing of a product supply agreement with FLIR Commercial Systems" but the announcement included no quote nor name from FLIR. X.Labs CEO, on LinkedIn, recently made a similar declaration:

you will see that FLIR signed a new agreement with our company in April and this is still in full effect. That copy is attached as an Exhibit to the papers

However, we did not find any copy nor exhibit with such an agreement in those papers.

We reached out to X.Labs for more details and to FLIR for confirmation and will update with their response if provided.

Comments (33)

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I don't always agree with you, John, but if you need any help with the inevitable lawsuit that Feevr files against IPVM, please let me know. Happy to help defend you in this matter.

Even if you had never posted about Feevr or their founder at all, they were bound to hit an conflict with FLIR. Feevr's founder is a potential PR issue for the supplier who he's currently undercutting. FLIR wants to sell 20-50K cameras for medical-grade fever detection. He's selling a 2K version with hardware that FLIR says should not be used for this purpose.

FLIR has tons of reasons to drop Feevr that have nothing to do with IPVM.

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I don't always agree with you, John, but if you need any help with the inevitable lawsuit that Feevr files against IPVM...

as a sarcastic undisclosed poster, should i lawyer up as well?

;)

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Well, if you consider that Feevr is demanding that IPVM give names and contact information for everyone who accessed those articles (cough), if Feevr inexplicably managed to get the court to side with them, then maybe you should...

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I dont need a lawyer to say I would be happy to in open court. Pretty sure it would not help Feevrs case. I would pay money to have a lawyer ask him what he was thinking with that haircut. That alone would have been a deal killer.

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Feevr's founder is a potential PR issue for the supplier who he's currently undercutting. FLIR wants to sell 20-50K cameras for medical-grade fever detection. He's selling a 2K version with hardware that FLIR says should not be used for this purpose.

Excellent point! FLIR seemed to miss taking that into account. Even though maybe they were thinking that anyone buying $2K of equipment was never going to buy $20K in equipment. But in either case, it does create a PR issue for FLIR.

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Even if zero clients that would have bought Feevr for $2K convert into $20K FLIR clients (which is unlikely - some would have paid more if they had been explained the difference), certainly some of the FLIR $20K camera market has to be questioning their decision to spend $20K "if you can do the same thing for $2K."

FLIR can be forgiven for the first order. Maybe they didn't know how it was going being used, but ever single dollar that FLIR decided to continue to sell to Feevr said "You can ignore our thermal guidance, if your order volumes are high enough."

That's a much bigger PR problem than "gee, that founder is sure weird."

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certainly some of the FLIR $20K camera market has to be questioning their decision to spend $20K "if you can do the same thing for $2K."

To be clear, Feevr is claiming to do much more than FLIR with their offering. FLIR says people need to stop and take off their glasses, Feevr says they can literally "detect individuals in a crowd with an elevated temperature" all for a fraction of the price of FLIR EST.

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Matthew, you are not an 'uninterested' participant in this discussion.

I see that your company sells 'Fever Detection' devices that look quite similar to Athena's newest cameras:

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No one on this forum is an uninterested participant.

That's also not a requirement to comment on why Feevr's legal threats against IPVM is BS. Or a requirement to saying "yeah, it can't really do that."

We're pretty transparent about the devices and what you can expect.

From Using Thermal Security Cameras to Detect Coronavirus: Buyer Beware

We're a camera company, and we want to be completely clear: a camera is one of the worst ways that you can attempt to detect internal body temperature. We really thought about not even carrying this model...

Carrying a product isn't what is at issue here: making claims about a product that cannot hold up to reality and then making dubious legal threat to anyone who say "hol' up" is.

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No one on this forum is an uninterested participant.

that is 100% true

That's also not a requirement to comment on why Feevr's legal threats against IPVM is BS.

also 100% true

however, your close was what caused me to post my comment about you not being an uninterested party in this discussion:

"but ever single dollar that FLIR decided to continue to sell to Feevr said "You can ignore our thermal guidance, if your order volumes are high enough."

That's a much bigger PR problem than "gee, that founder is sure weird.""

you sell against FLIR solutions (Athena) and offer that unsupported narrative as factual?

this is bad form, imo.

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I'm sorry I'm not following your argument.

I'm not criticizing FLIR. I'm saying that FLIR had reasons discontinue their relationship with Feevr that have nothing to do with IPVM's article(s). I'm bring up a hypothetical legal defense of IPVM that would make any lawsuit Feevr were to file against IPVM very difficult, by painting Feevr's partnership with FLIR as problematic from the start.

I mean no offense to FLIR. I'm stating the PR and trust issues that could have occurred, had FLIR had not ended their relationship with Feevr, since Feevr was not following FLIR's guidelines. By removing Feevr, FLIR has acted consistently with previous statements and won't face these PR issues.

I have no connection with Athena and I don't understand why they are being brought up. I don't know what Athena carries, but if it identical equipment, then we share a supplier in common. I do not do business with Athena.

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this is your Apollo camera (from your website)

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and this is what Paine Field in Everett, WA is using

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are these not the same?

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They look similar, yes.

I fail to see the point you are making, however.

I'm not talking about Apollo in these comments, we're talking about Feevr, FLIR, and the threats against IPVM.

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fair enough

even though you edited your original comment instead of just replying to my post showing how similar your product is to what Athena sells.

why not just reply?

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Well, I didn't reply because I went to bed.

I edited the comment because I thought that I wasn't making my point clearly enough.

I'm struggling with a reply because I am not following the connection that you are making. I really don't understand what Athena / Uniview has to do with Feevr / FLIR / IPVM.

Can you help me connect the dots?

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They could look to SEEK!

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We tested both Seek and FLIR phone add-on thermal cameras, see: Smartphone Thermal Camera Body Temperature Measurement Tested (FLIR / Seek). Both had notable issues for human body / skin temperature measurement.

Seek, like FLIR, emphasized to us that their phone add-on (e.g., CompactPRO) was not intended for this application.

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That hasn’t stopped Feevr guys so far ;)

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Wait, have I been pronouncing "FLIR" wrong all these years? I pronounced it as if it rhymes with "gear", and this guy Jasun Tate pronounces like as if it rhymes with "purr".

Did I have it wrong all this time?

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I have always heard it pronounced (and I pronounce it) as FLEER, not FLUR.

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I work for FLIR - and I can attest that - phonetically - it is pronounced FLEER and not FLUR.

that is all.

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Perfect! Thank you Marty!

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Is it Purrrfect?

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If the partner can't pronounce the name correctly on a marketing video, there is clearly a problem with the partnership (read non-existent or on paper).

It was very telling watching that video, and the fact that they are selling a thermal camera, which is expensive compared to a normal surveillance camera, and he is in a t-shirt, IMHO.

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Update: The complaint also notes that "X.Labs also has supplier contracts, notably with Flir." Presumably, the agreement being suspended is that supplier contract. However, it is not detailed what that contract covers, e.g., is that simply for discounts or does that restrict the ability to buy or use FLIR components (e.g., the FLIR Pro One is readily available for sale on Amazon) or does it impact X.Labs ability to use FLIR's software or brand, etc. All of these elements would affect the impact on X.Labs.

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Looks like X.labs says the FLIR agreement is back on.

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#9, thanks. Here is the link to the X.Labs announcement. This is the email we just sent to X.Labs on this:

We are adding to our reporting about X.Labs announcement of an agreement with FLIR.

Additionally, we read your LinkedIn post, specifically saying, "you will see that FLIR signed a new agreement with our company in April and this is still in full effect. That copy is attached as an Exhibit to the papers". However, we did not find any copy or exhibit with such an agreement.

Questions:

- Can you confirm if the FLIR agreement authorizes X.Labs to use FLIR PRO One devices as part of the 'Feevr' system?

- Can you share the agreement that you say was included in the public filing so we can include it in our reporting?

- Can you share a contact at FLIR that X.Labs worked with so we can get their confirmation? Atypically, there is no FLIR quote nor person listed in the announcement, and FLIR, to date, has declined to comment on such an agreement.

A response by the end of business today West Coast time would be appreciated as we would like to update our reporting to reflect this.

We will update this report later today with whatever information we have obtained. Also, we sent a separate email to FLIR to ask them about this.

Note: we updated the report with this information and will add further updates if or when we learn more about the agreement.

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Well I guess IPVM is now considered a "TMZ type"

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LinkedIn today

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Sorry UI #9, did not realize I was being redundant.

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Thumbs up! I beat the system with this faceshield and safety glasses! Now I can go to work with a fever.

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90.4 and 92.3

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88.9F

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So the system actually picked up a real life "walking dead".

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