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What’s up with the temperature sensor on the Pixel 8 Pro?

A screencap from Google’s Pixel 8 launch event. A closeup of a blue Pixel 8 Pro, with a temperature sensor visible below the LED flash module on the right side of the camera bar. A line goes from the temperature sensor to the words “temperature sensor.”
Temperature sensor. Temperature sensor? Temperature sensor. | Image: Google

The Pixel 8 Pro has an infrared temperature sensor. Why does the Pixel 8 Pro have a temperature sensor?

For an unusual feature on a $1,000 flagship phone, Google really isn’t saying much about it. The Pixel 8 Pro announcement mentions it almost in passing:

And on the back of the Pixel 8 Pro, a new temperature sensor lets you quickly scan an object to get its temperature. Use it to check if your pan is hot enough to start cooking or if the milk in your baby’s bottle is at the right temperature. We’ve also submitted an application to the FDA, to enable Pixel’s Thermometer App to take your temperature and save it to Fitbit.

Any off-the-shelf infrared thermometer can tell you the temperature of a hot pan or a baby bottle. But the instant…

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