Thermal imaging has remained an interesting, if costly, technology for some time. One lower cost option is the the Grid-EYE sensor from Panasonic. While it has a resolution of only 8×8 pixels, it’s priced in the low double digit range, making it an ideal candidate for budget projects. If you’d like to add it to your build, Pesky Products has a has a breakout available that allows it to be used with the I²C protocol.
Xose Pérez, after finding this sensor and breakout on Tindie, which he (correctly) considers “a great place to find uncommon electronic components or weird/interesting boards,” decided to make his own low-resolution IR camera. At only 64 pixels of resolution, it’s not as capable as more expensive units, but it could still be very useful for getting a general idea of what is hot and cold in a room/environment. The case is made out of slices of acrylic, paper, cardboard, and MDF, giving it a very unique look. It also features a small screen to display supplemental information, and a simple button/switch interface.