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Label: selfie stick

Wednesday 21st January 2015Selfie Sticks

Whether you love it or hate it, the selfie craze might just be here to stay. Instagram is more popular than ever, and celebrities are all over the bandwagon to ensure that the entire thing is here to stay. As always, when there is a market gap, someone will come along to fill it, and the selfie craze is no exception.

Mobile phone photography has already managed to recreate the entire camera industry in miniature - you can purchase additional lenses, additional editing software, feature phones whose entire premise is based around a camera with more megapixels than some DSLRs. The only thing that was missing, really, was the tripod. However, since a tripod is bulky and much of the appeal behind smartphone photography is the extremely portable nature of it, there probably isn't going to be too much of a market. Enter the selfie stick.

It is, unsurprisingly, exactly what it says on the tin. A stick of some kind of strong lightweight material (let us forestall the day of carbon fiber selfie sticks, please) with a way to attach your phone to one end. You hold it up, and you can suddenly take all sorts of wildly angled selfies from your phone. Can't quite get the tiger cage in the background into the shot? Nicholas Cage just too far away to get into the frame? No problem, if you've got a selfie stick.

Whether or not people will be roundly mocked for actually carrying these around and using them remains to be seen, as their popularity hasn't quite hit peak annoyance yet (if it ever does), but there has already been a bit of controversy over the devices, which are much more popular in Asia than in the West. Most of the devices use Bluetooth to trigger the camera shutter and actually take the shot, which wouldn't be much of a problem - unless there were huge numbers of them in use. In South Korea, the problem is that the sticks are so popular that they are being bootstrapped together by vendors who don't register them with the local broadcasting authority, the equivalent of running around downtown London with an unlicensed radio station transmitter in the back of a van - pirate radio, bluetooth style.

Will they catch on here? Keep your eye out this summer to find out. 

Posted on January 21st 2015 on 04:57pm
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