In the FLAC vs. WAV thread, I noted that probing an ACTIVE (i.e., powered, in situ) topological component -- IC, opamp, etc -- may help quantify (measure) sonic/qualitative attributes that have tradit. had no metric analog.
On a few EE blogs and YouTube EE channels (e.g., EEV blog), laser infrared thermometers have been getting some attn. as they seem to offer some addit. benefits in labs tests. E.g., quick, hands-off analysis of component behavior.
So for the FLAC vs WAV test, labs may want to point the device at certain ICs and quickly asses running temps. Heat changes resistivity and other charac. of ckt traces and affect other thermodynamic aspects of material physics.
Not sure ... maybe some audio designers are already way ahead of the game ;)