McGrath’s innovative device goes Twitter-wide Monday


MuOptic’s Thermal Imager application on the Apple iPhone

Rethink Studios partner John McGrath, will feel the marketing heat Monday, March 4 when the thermal imaging device he started developing after receiving a shock of an electric bill last fall gets global attention as Indiegogo’s Twitter Featured Product of the day.

McGrath’s Mµ Optics Thermal Imager has garnered contributions of around $32,000 to date on the crowdsourcing site. Its debut on Indiegogo’s Twitter feed, to 45,000 followers – among its millions of web fans – will continue to add to the other, significant funders McGrath has placed behind the project.

The benefit of IndieGoGo, he says, is that all funds raised are provided to the developers to complete the project, regardless of whether the ultimate fundraising goal is met.

The Mµ (the scientific symbol for micrometers and pronounced “mew”)  Optics imaging tool is designed primarily to help homeowners save money by detecting unsuspected heat losses around the house, although McGrath says its applications are “limitless.” 

The Muoptics Thermal ImagerTwo things make the imager uniquely practical and obtainable, he says.  One, the heat/cold detector is an accessory that attaches securely to smartphones and tablets and is operated through the touchscreen of the computing device.

Two, at a retail price of approximately $325, it delivers a capability that previously had been available only to building and heating professionals, at a cost of $2,200 to $22,000.

McGrath says he got the idea last fall when he suspected his excessively high electric bill was due to heat losses in his 107-year old Hyde Park home.  He thought how easy it could be if he could use his convenient smartphone to track the heat problems around the big, old house.

“The Mµ Optics Thermal Imager is a tremendous tool in locating heating and cooling losses from poorly installed and maintained windows, ductwork, insulation, poor electrical connections, and moisture and mold-related health issues,” McGrath points out.

His disappointment in not finding an affordable thermal imager led him work with a talented group of DePaul University graduates, who share Rethink’s office space as they develop other high-tech software.

The Mµ Optics group is currently in the final stages of building prototypes to exhibit at the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas in early May.

Main focus is on Rethink’s work and growth   

John McGrath of re:think Studios and MuOpticsMcGrath, operations manager of the nine-employee West Loop company, emphasizes that Mµ Optics is totally separate from his focus on Rethink Studios, which counts ESPN, Kraft, Motorola, and One A Day Vitamins among its current clients. 

President/chief creative and CGI artist Brian Bullock formed Rethink in 2010 and McGrath joined as a partner a year later. They previously had worked together at Cutters, where McGrath had been General Manager for 20 years and Bullock head CGI artist for Cutters’ Sol FX division for a decade before starting Rethink.

Rethink’s CGI work for an ESPN promo is the only Chicago finalist in the massive New York Festivals. Winners will be announced at NAB in April.