The evolution of the selfie stick

Evolution of the selfie stick

This picture tells a thousand words.  It clearly shows the evolution of the selfie stick.   Chinese factories are releasing new selfie stick  models almost on a weekly basis.

The trend is clearly towards smaller more compact models that can be stored in a handbag or carried around in your pocket easily.

Selfie sticks

Evolution of the selfie stick

Working from left to right the picture above shows the oldest selfie stick model on the left and the newest on the right.  (These are not quite to scale)

Initial models were all black and silver, different colour handles were soon introduced to the basic model.  The next step was for the selfie stick clamp, that holds the camera, to fold in on itself. This resulted in a substantial shortening in length.  People soon discovered that smaller and more compact was far more practical to carry selfie sticks around.  Many people pack these in their luggage when travelling abroad so it was an obvious improvement.   In our opinion the newest selfie sticks are so short you may as well not use them.  The point of a selfie stick is to extend the camera away from yourself so that you can achieve interesting angles and include a bunch of friends.  Perhaps some would disagree on this point but one this is for sure, the selfie stick is here to stay.

 

 

To selfie stick, or not to selfie stick?

JULY 12, 2015 | 4:37 PM

It can be really challenging to squeeze your entire posse into the self-portrait you’re trying to snap with just an arm’s length between you and your camera or smartphone.

Hence the selfie stick — a revolutionary monopod that has transformed the self-portrait scene over the past few years by capitalizing on the continued rise in popularity of the “selfie” — defined as “an image of oneself, taken by oneself, using a digital camera especially for posting on social networks.”

Yes, “selfie” officially made it into Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary last year — the vocabulary equivalent of “making it big.”

But it’s not been all trending, going viral, and #awesome for selfie sticks.

Walt Disney World — aka “the Happiest Place On Earth” — recently rejected the trendy stick, banning it from all four theme parks in Florida, its two Disneyland parks in California, its water parks, and from Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disney.

Eric Olson, Iowa State University event management professor and former Disney employee, said he expects more venues and event organizers to follow suit. Like Des Moines’s AdVentureland, for example, which just this month banned selfie sticks in the park and Adventure Bay for “safety reasons.”

“I do think, in the industry, you are going to start seeing more of these bans,” Olson said. “And I think rightfully so.”

For starters, Olson said, the three-foot-long sticks pose safety threats. Disney first forbid selfie sticks only on bigger rides after some guests whipped them out while aboard, causing concerns for nearby riders and prompting operators to halt the attractions.

But then distraction concerns emerged as well for guests attending shows and parades near selfie-snapping stick users.

And the sticks got the ax.

Molly Vincent, AdVentureland spokeswoman, said the theme park didn’t see any selfie-stick injuries before instituting the ban July 3, although officials were worried they might. They did field some complaints from guests who had their views obstructed during shows and performances, however.

“People are using them and not paying attention to their surroundings … and people behind and around them are being disrupted,” Vincent said. “We want the best guest experience for everyone.”

AdVentureland didn’t initially ban selfie sticks because they weren’t seeing much use. But she said that has changed this season, and a “fair number of people” have tried to pull them out on thrill rides or during shows.

“So we decided to follow suit,” she said.

The Iowa State Fair, scheduled from Aug. 13 to 23, has not changed its selfie-stick policy — meaning they still are allowed. But fair spokeswoman Mindy Williamson said officials discussed it — along with other members of the International Association of Fairs and Expos.

“It’s on our radar for sure,” she said. “As popularity grows, I’m sure it will pop up more in conversations.”

Two sides

Musical festivals such as Coachella in California and Lollapalooza in Chicago announced selfie-stick bans for this year’s events.

But there are two sides to the selfie-stick debate, said Olson, who worked as an operations manager for Disney from 1999 to 2005 before landing at Iowa State.

Although they can be a distraction and a danger, Olson said, selfies and the sticks that enable them also can be a great way to promote a park or event — free — through social media use. The Des Moines Arts Festival, for example, had a selfie promotion.

“Word of mouth can be very beneficial,” Olson said. “A lot of festivals want to encourage the use of social media …. But the stick just presents a larger issue.”

As for psychological and societal implications and repercussions from the surge in selfies, ISU psychology professor Zlatan Krizan said, he thinks there are few. Sharing stories and experiences is an ancient practice, he said, even if methods and means have changed.

And taking photos of oneself — or at least getting in photos someone else is taking — has been a common practice for generations. It’s only now getting more attention thanks to the trendy “selfie” term, Krizan said.

Your Next Selfie Could tell you when you will die

From http://www.selfiecamerastick.com/blog/

Can a selfie reveal when you will die? New technology claims that analyzing a selfie can predict your life expectancy. Grab your camera selfie stick and try it out yourself!

Selfies are being taken every day, by everyone, and everywhere. They are a way to share with friends and document our daily lives. But now they might be considered a way of evaluating our life expectancy? Sounds crazy, but software developers from the University of Illinois at Chicago are claiming it really is

How long will she live?

possible.

Face My Age is a new website that allows you to upload a selfie and from it produces life expectancy results. How exactly does it work? The site’s program analyzes your selfie by looking at all sorts of

features- from wrinkles and crow’s feet to forehead lines to the size of your nose and other features. In addition, you are asked to answer some lifestyle questions such as drug habits, sun exposure, smoking habits, and marital status.

As a result, Face My age uses your responses and selfie to estimate your expected life span and remaining days on earth. This selfie tool will be used by most as a fun way of using a death predictor and of course as a change to take an extra selfie. But, the selfie submissions will also serve for Face My Age creators S. Jay Olshansky and Karl Ricanek Jr. to gather data on the connection between face age and mortality risk.

Grab your selfie stick and start snapping selfies!  Your camera monopod can help you figure out how long you will live, or at the very least you will have loads of fun playing around with your selfie camera stick!

Places that have banned selfie sticks

Places that have banned selfie sticks

 ‘Selfie sticks’ have now been banned at a French palace and a British museum, joining a growing list of global tourist attractions to take such measures. The devices are used to improve snapshots, but critics say they are obnoxious and potentially dangerous. Officials at Palace of Versailles outside Paris, and Britain’s National Gallery in London, announced the bans Wednesday, saying they need to protect artworks and other visitors.
Other places that have put limits on the selfie-stick craze:

France

Unlike Versailles, the Louvre and Centre Georges Pompidou art museums have not banned selfie sticks – yet. The Pompidou – the contemporary art museum whose exterior of colorful tubes and scaffolding looks like a building turned inside out – is studying what, if anything, needs to be done about the phenomenon, Le Monde reported.  Musee d’Orsay, which houses an Impressionist art collection, bans not just selfie sticks, but any photography whatsoever.

USA

The Smithsonian museums in Washington banned selfie sticks last week. Cameras and pictures are still allowed, but selfie sticks, tripods and monopods are not. Smithsonian officials say this is a preventative measure to protect visitors and museum objects.  Other US museums that ban selfie sticks include the Art Institute of Chicago, the Detroit Institute of Arts, and New York’s Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Austria

Vienna’s Albertina, one of the city’s top art museums, prohibits selfie sticks. Museum spokeswoman Sarah Wulbrandt says visitors must check-in the sticks before entering.

Besides the National Gallery, some English soccer teams have banned the selfie stick from their stadiums.

Britain

The National Portrait Gallery, adjacent to the National Gallery, says the sticks are allowed, but “anything that may prove disruptive is reviewed on an ongoing basis.” The British Museum is “currently reviewing” its selfie-stick policy.  If you go into an exhibition, surely the purpose is to see what is on show and not to take umpteen photographs of yourself?” said Bill Doig, a retired doctor visiting the National Portrait Gallery.

Brazil

Soccer stadiums in the South American country have also banned selfie sticks because of their potential use as weapons in fights between rival fans, police say. Selfie sticks were also banned from Brazil’s recent Carnival parades in Rio de Janeiro.

Selfie stick gaining Popularity, despite bans

 The selfie stick is turning into a popular new tech trend for 2015, with the European summer travel season approaching popularity is sure to increase.

Selfie stick.jpg

Already tourists have noticed more people carrying the stick device in cities such as Venice and Paris. Some tourists have applauded how practical they are while others have had more negative reactions towards them.
The Selfie stick is a mono-pod used to take selfie photographs by positioning a smartphone or camera beyond the normal range of the arm. It’s quite simple; with the handle on one end and an adjustable clamp holding the phone on the other end, the clamp keeps the phone in place making sure it doesn’t drop.The Selfie stick is light weight making it easy to carry around and are compatible with smartphones such as  iOS 5.0 and Android 4.2.2.
Unfortunately, the number of locations and venues where you will be able to use the Selfie stick internationally seems to be shortening due to safety restrictions and inconvenience of visitors. Visitors will have to check first with venues before bringing along their Selfie stick.
The Selfie stick has been banned from some museums due to concerns about possible damage to art works. As well as some music festivals have banned them, most notably the Coachella music festival in Southern California. Despite the bans popularity for the device just keeps increasing. On your next trip with a large group of friends wouldn’t it be great to take a large group shot getting all your friends into one photograph. Your arms can only reach so far. The stick is great for epic hiking shots or for a stroll on a quiet beach.
Companies such as Nixon have jumped on the bandwagon. Known for their watches and accessory lines, Nixon have created there own Selfie stick called the N-MP001. The stick has been specifically designed to work with the company’s latest Coolpix pint and shoots. Carrying camera’s weighing up to 14 ounces.
If you want to join the Selfie stick revolution you can grab Selfie sticks on www.gadgets.co.za

 

Selfie sticks are even in time magazine

How we picked & tested

Structurally, selfie sticks are basic accessories, comprised of two to three main parts. First, there’s the pole itself, which usually collapses for ease of packing and travel and extends to let you take pictures of yourself from farther away. At the end of the stick is something to securely hold your phone (or, with most, camera) and position it as needed. Finally, most selfie sticks have some sort of mechanism for triggering your phone’s virtual shutter.

Of course, you’ll find a wide range of quality across even these simple features. For example, while some selfie sticks extend and collapse smoothly and some even lock into place with a twist, others are difficult to extend. Some cradles hold your phone securely and make it easy to position at different angles, while others are flimsy and offer fewer positions.

We first turned to Amazon for our initial research, finding hundreds of selfie sticks, many of which seemed to be identical to one another (more on that below). As mentioned earlier, we used Quartz’s The starter’s guide to selfie sticks—you know you want one! and Joanna Stern’s The Best Selfie Sticks: Look Ridiculous, Shoot Great to start us off, help us narrow down our picks, and find some competitors we wanted to include.

Once we had a list of candidates, we used the following criteria to help winnow our picks:

  • The device must provide a way to trigger photos remotely—in other words, without having to tap the phone’s screen or press a button on the phone itself—whether it be a wired connection or Bluetooth.
  • While third-party apps can enhance a selfie stick’s functionality, they must not be necessary. Similarly, the selfie stick shouldn’t rely on a timed-shutter-release function, or a separate hardware purchase, to trigger the shutter.
  • The selfie stick must be compatible with both iPhones and Android phones, and it must accommodate phones of various sizes, including large-screen handsets.
  • In addition to holding a smartphone, the stick must also provide a standard tripod-mount method for connecting to other devices.

With these criteria in mind, we obtained 20 different samples from a number of companies, spanning every style we could find. We tested each selfie stick with both an iPhone 6 Plus and a Galaxy S5. For the sticks with a wired connection, we connected each stick’s plug to each phone’s headphone jack; for Bluetooth-enabled sticks, we paired each stick with each phone (making sure to delete the Bluetooth pairing when finished to avoid connection issues). We took photos with each phone/stick combination to ensure everything worked properly.

02selfiestick
The WirecutterThe 20 selfie sticks we tested.

After verifying which selfie sticks work with which devices, we measured the extended and collapsed lengths of each (the actual distance from your hand to the phone’s camera lens is a bit shorter, because of your hand overlapping the handle of the stick and the position of the cradle at the end. The actual distance is about 7 inches less than the extended length.)

Because travel is an important consideration, we favored sticks that shrunk down to shorter lengths for easier packing, but we also valued those that were the longest when extended, as a longer stick allows for more distance, and thus wider shots in taking self-photos. And since people generally use selfie sticks on the go, we measured the weight of each; lighter was better.

Finally, we considered the mounting mechanism used by each contender. We tested to see if each could hold various phone sizes up to the iPhone 6 Plus. We also tested the security of each stick’s cradle by shaking the stick around with a smartphone installed; commendably, no phones fell to their doom with any of the sticks. We also tested the ease with which we could adjust the angle of a phone while in each stick’s cradle.

Our pick

The Looq DG is the best selfie stick in the best of the three styles we tested, taking the top spot overall. A wired connection is the Looq DG’s biggest strength, as it eliminates the need for charging or batteries without adding any complexity. And compared to other wired selfie sticks we tested, it extends to a longer length and collapses to a shorter one (about the size of a foot-long, well, stick), and weighs only fractions of an ounce more than the lightest stick of the bunch. Plus, it works with any modern iPhone or Android phone out of the box, even holding large devices such as the iPhone 6 Plus without issue.

Connecting the Looq DG to an iPhone or Android phone is really as easy as it gets. A coiled cable emerges from where the stick’s extendable metal pole meets the plastic phone cradle; the other end of that cable hosts a 3.5mm plug that fits into the handset’s headphone jack. A button on the stick’s handle emulates the volume-up button on a set of headphones with an inline remote, thus triggering the shutter-release feature on your phone’s camera app. (If the camera app isn’t open, pressing the button on the handle of the stick increases the volume.) Taking photos works identically to using a camera app on the phone itself, shooting as instantaneously as if you’d tapped directly on the phone’s screen.

When collapsed, the Looq DG is about an inch shorter than the average of the selfie sticks we tested at 12 inches, and it extends to the greatest length (45.5 inches, compared to the average of just under 41 inches). The pole doesn’t extend and collapse as smoothly as a few other models, but it doesn’t put up an objectionable amount of resistance, and it stays where you put it, regardless of length. And at just over 5 ounces in weight, it’s easy enough to tote. (The range of weights was 4.8 to 5.2 ounces.)

The Looq DG uses an expandable C-clamp as the cradle to hold your smartphone in place. The cradle stretches from 2.2 inches to about 3.5 inches—wide enough to accommodate even an iPhone 6 Plus in a case in landscape orientation. In my testing, the hold was totally secure, thanks to the clamp’s firm tension. If you’d rather use a camera, the cradle unscrews, revealing a tripod mount underneath. Either way, the mount is easily adjustable to whatever angle you may desire, with a plastic knob tightening and loosening the mount as needed.

05selfiestick
The Wirecutter

One things that stands out about the Looq DG is that at least part of it—the handle with shutter-release button—seems to have been designed in-house. Many of the selfie sticks on the market are the exact same product sold under different brand or model names—companies are simply slapping their own label on someone else’s product. In fact, a number of the models we received came in identical boxes, labeled “Monopod,” and many of these even shipped with the same Monopod sticker on the stick itself. While this isn’t uncommon in the tech-accessory industry, it’s more common here than in almost any category we’ve seen. The Looq DG’s handle is slightly different than that of the others, and I liked its shutter button better: The button is centered properly, so there’s no ambiguity about where to press, and unlike with some of the others, it’s not mushy—there’s a definite, audible “click” when you press down.

06selfiestick
The WirecutterThe Looq DG app on an iPhone.

Looq System also has a free Looq DG app in the App Store and Google Play Store. It’s not the most beautifully designed app we’ve seen, but it’s functional. Within the app, you can take pictures using your phone’s front or back camera, or apply filters in real-time (the app lists the filters as “Pretty.”) It also provides a flashlight function using your phone’s flash. But the truth: there’s no reason to use this app over the camera app built into your phone or your favorite third-party app.

In Joanna Stern’s WSJ piece, the Looq DG is one of only a few selfie sticks she mentions by name. She doesn’t say outright that it’s the best, but she does talk about its ease of use (“Attach your iPhone or Android phone, plug in the cord, launch the camera app and you can start snapping away, just by pressing a button on the rubberized grip”). Surprisingly, the Looq DG doesn’t have a single customer review on Amazon, but we’ll be watching to see if any appear.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

While it collapses down to a length shorter than the average of the selfie sticks we tested, we’d love to see Looq System find a way for the Looq DG to collapse to an even smaller size. This would make it even easier to travel with the accessory. The only other issue we could find was brought up by Stern, in regards to the button the handle: “It is very convenient, but pressing the button can cause the stick to shake a bit, resulting in a potentially blurry photo.” Still, we think that a stick with a wired connection, and having to possibly take a few extra shots, is better than choosing a model with a separate remote, which is her proposed alternative.

Runners-up

If our top pick is sold out, or you want to save a few dollars, pick up a wired selfie stick from either Ipow or Noot (we’ll spare you the indecipherable word-soup that is each of their names). For only $14, you get the same general functionality as you would from the Looq DG, though there are some minor differences. Both Ipow and Noot use the same phone cradle, with an expandable vertical back and a horizontal “claw.” A removable orange plastic cap fits over the top of a curled, plastic arm that wraps around the phone’s edge to cushion the device from the hard plastic—a design common to this type of stick.

The two sticks’ handles are also slightly different: While Ipow’s stick has a ribbed-rubber texture, similar to that of the Looq DG, Noot’s is more like a hard foam material, at least on the outside. The Ipow selfie stick extends from 12.5 inches to 43 inches, while the Noot model goes from 13 inches to 40 inches.

Bluetooth selfie sticks

Not all selfie sticks use a wired connection. Some connect to your smartphone using Bluetooth, with these models taking either of two approaches: Some use a remote control that’s entirely separate from the stick (and use a button-style battery for power), while others build the wireless remote (and a rechargeable battery) into the stick handle, much like the controls on a wired model. All pair easily, using a simple procedure.

We tested a number of selfie sticks that include a separate Bluetooth remote. After spending time with these models, we weren’t as enthusiastic as we were about wired sticks. First and foremost, it’s easy to lose the remote, because it’s entirely separate from the stick itself. In addition, we found that almost all of the sticks in this category are the same; in fact, every model we tested uses an identical remote.

This design does have some merits, however. For example, it lowers the likelihood of the stick shaking when you press the shutter button, because you aren’t applying pressure to the stick itself. A separate remote is also useful for shots when the stick isn’t needed—if you want to take pictures from across the room, a separate Bluetooth remote lets you do so.

We couldn’t choose between most of these models based on the remote—as I mentioned, they’re nearly all identical. Each is made of glossy plastic with a power slider on the right side and two buttons on the front. The larger button, toward the top, says “Camera 360” and “iOS” with a camera icon in the middle. Underneath that, a smaller button shows the same camera icon and says “Android.” On the back, most of the remotes say “Remote Shutter” above “Easy to set up/use” and “Made in China.” And the sticks are the same as well.

07selfiestick
The WirecutterHey, at least one of these essentially identical remotes has upside-down buttons!

However, one Bluetooth selfie stick stood out, thanks to a unique Bluetooth remote, a truly nice design, and a few extras. Gorilla Gear’s Complete Selfie Kit ($25) is the way to go if you prefer a Bluetooth-enabled model. Not only is the pole itself well designed, with a padded handle and a twist-to-lock extension feature, but it comes with a separate miniature—and we do meanminiature—tripod, and the whole kit is packed inside a travel box that looks like a plastic pencil holder stuffed with foam. The component that holds the phone is also unique here: Gorilla Gear’s stick uses a rubber strip with clamps at the top and bottom instead of a metal or plastic cradle. The top clamp slides up and down, with markings on the rubber indicating where to lock it into place for various iPhones, Samsung devices, and even the iPad mini. While the setup isn’t as intuitive as we’ve experienced with other selfie sticks, the hold is secure.

The only real downside to the Complete Selfie Kit is its length. It’s actually the shortest of all those we tested, measuring just a bit over 30” when fully extended. If length is more of a concern, go with CamKix’s Extendable Selfie Stick with Bluetooth Remote. But Gorilla Gear’s overall package earns it our recommendation.

Finally, there are the sticks with a Bluetooth remote built right into the handle. (The remote’s battery is also built-in; you recharge it using a Micro-USB port on the handle.) Though you don’t risk losing the remote with this style, it offers the fewest benefits: These sticks lack the simplicity and reliability of the wired models, but they also aren’t well-suited for shots from farther away. The best all-in-one Bluetooth selfie stick, if you for some reason insist on one, is InnoGear’s Selfie Stick with Remote Shutter and Telescopic Tripod. At only $23, it doesn’t cost much more than the next-expensive model of this type, but it offers a lot more value, because it includes a small tripod onto which you can mount the selfie stick for hands-free photos, along with a carrying pouch. The Innogear’s modular design is also unique. Its C-clamp can be placed at the usual position at the end of the extendable pole, but the clamp can also connect directly to the stick’s 6.3-inch-long handle if, say, you don’t need the pole’s full length but you want to take steady shots without having to tap the phone’s screen. And, like the Looq DG, the InnoGear model at least appears to be a unique design—in a field crowded with so many clones, we appreciate that.

Unlike with the other sticks in this category, Innogear’s has four buttons. From top to bottom, there’s the shutter, plus (+), minus (-), and power. The company claims that the two middle buttons let you zoom when the stick is used with “Samsung Smartphone with Andriod 2.3.6 above system [sic],” but on our Galaxy S5 running Android 5.0, the plus button replicated the function of the shutter button, and the minus button did nothing. So while the Innogear Selfie Stick has just as much functionality as the competition, it doesn’t have as much as promised.

If there’s a downside to the Innogear stick (besides the Bluetooth aspect), it’s length. With the stick assembled but fully collapsed, the whole thing is about 16 inches long. At least the pieces can be easily separated, so this actually isn’t as big of a deal as it might otherwise be.

Dwight Silverman, the TechBlog writer for the Houston Chronicle, told us that the Innogear is his favorite selfie stick. In an email, he said “What most impresses me about this is the value. Amazon’s got it for $23, and in terms of features and build quality, it’s a great deal…The button pressure is just right – pressing the camera button doesn’t require a hard press, so you’re not apt to get camera blur from doing so.”

What to look forward to

With selfie sticks gaining notoriety in pop culture, there are bound to be plenty of competitors joining the fray. Based on what we’ve seen so far, plenty of them will be rebadged versions of existing designs, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see some thoughtful new options. We’ll keep an eye out and update this piece with any noteworthy products.

Competition

Many of the selfie sticks with Bluetooth connections in the handle are almost, if not completely, identical to one another. Minisuit’s Selfie Stick Pro ($18), Ipow’s Rechargeable Wireless Bluetooth Selfie Stick with Remote Shutter Function ($18), OPTIKAL’S SelfiePAL ($16) and Mpow’s iSnap Pro ($20) are all the same. Getwow’s Extendable Selfie Stick Monopod with Bluetooth Remote ($16) is the same as the Everyday Selfie Stick ($30), down to the diamond-patterned grips and plastic mirrors. The only other model we tested with a separate Bluetooth remote, after eliminating the clones, was Vivitar’s Extendable Selfie Stick Monopod($18). We agree with Joanna Stern that “Its foam-like grip is also far more comfortable to hold, and the stick—available in a number of different colors—has a more eye-pleasing design,” but it’s the largest stick we tested, both in terms of collapsed length and diameter.

Vantrue’s Bluetooth Selfie Stick ($25) has a Bluetooth remote built into the handle, and it uses a different design than we saw from most of the rest of our review units. However, it’s relatively short, and it’s heavier than the others we tested. We continue to think this style is the worst of the three types, but the Vantrue is one of the better options for those who may not want to fuss with a separate remote.

We also tried three other selfie sticks from Looq System, but none of them is as good as the Looq DG. The Looq 2 G ($45) has a wired connection, but it didn’t work with either of our test phones, iOS or Android, out of the box—we had to install the free Looq app to snap pictures—so we eliminated it from contention. The Looq S ($25) works only with iPhones, limiting its appeal. We like that it folds down to about 8.5 inches, but the angled cradle allows for fewer angles than our pick. Finally, the Looq Selfie Clicker($13), the most unusual selfie stick of the bunch, uses a white-label monopod pole, as well an odd remote that triggers your phone’s shutter via an audible click when taking photos with—and only with—a special Selfie Clicker app. Or you can use it as…a dog training tool! (Looq’s idea, not ours.)

08selfiestick
The WirecutterA selection of white-label selfie sticks.

The only other unique model with a built-in Bluetooth remote isSmarTech’s Smart iReach. At $50, it’s the most expensive stick we tested. We like how far it compacts (8.5 inches), thanks to a phone cradle that folds over the handle, but its maximum length of 31.5 inches is the shortest of the bunch. We also found it to be difficult to collapse the pole—it would sometimes get stuck in the middle of its extension.

In terms of sticks with a separate Bluetooth remote, we knocked Minisuit’s Selfie Stick with Bluetooth Remote ($15), Selfie on a Stick + Bluetooth Remote Shutter ($30), and UCFIT’s Extendable Selfie Handheld Stick Monopod ($8) out of contention because they use the same generic monopod design as the CamKix model but have higher prices or lower customer ratings on Amazon (or both!). Another model with a Bluetooth remote we disqualified is Noot’s Extendable Self-Portrait Handheld Stick Monopod ($12), because the sample we received doesn’t match the what’s listed on Amazon.

In our first round of testing, we picked CamKix’s Extendable Selfie Stick with Bluetooth Remote ($25) as the best Bluetooth selfie stick, but with trepidation. It’s a white-label OEM stick, but it happens to get the highest Amazon ratings of the identical models we tested. In fact, the CamKix’s Amazon rating is the only thing that elevates this stick over any of the other Bletooth models. Its phone cradle and mounting mechanism are identical to those of the other models with a separate remote (and nearly the same as, though not identical to, that of the Looq DG), and it works with both the iPhone and the Android devices we tested. But we think you should go with the nicer Gorilla Gear option, unless length is your most important, um, measure.

Wrapping it up

For those who want a selfie stick, the best is Looq System’s Looq DG. It provides an easy way to take selfies without the need for batteries or the hassle of recharging. It collapses down to a short length; it extends to a long length; and it’s reasonably priced.

This guide may have been updated. To see the current recommendation please go to The Wirecutter.com. This post was done in partnership with The Wirecutter, a list of the best technology to buy. Read the original full article above at TheWirecutter.com

Disney World bans selfie sticks

26 June 2015 – Disney World will ban selfie-sticks from its theme parks
By Dewayne Bevil 

 

Magic Kingdom: Cinderella Castle

Disney will no longer allow the use of selfie-sticks in its parks.

Walt Disney World is banning selfie-sticks from its theme parks, citing safety concerns, a company spokeswoman said Friday morning.

Under a new policy, which takes effect Tuesday, the poles won’t make it past the bag check at any Disney World theme park. The sticks also won’t be allowed in Disney World water parks or DisneyQuest, a gaming attraction at Downtown Disney.
“We strive to provide a great experience for the entire family, and unfortunately selfie-sticks have become a growing safety concern for both our guests and cast,” Disney World spokeswoman Kim Prunty said.

Selfie-sticks will also become forbidden at Disneyland Resort in California on June 30. The prohibition kicks in at Disney’s parks in Paris and Hong Kong on July 1.

Guests will be checked for the equipment during the routine bag check that happens near the parks’ entrances. They will have an option of turning in their selfie-sticks for pick-up later or to go back to their cars or hotel rooms to stow them.

Visitors will be told of the policy in locations such as the parking lots and at the resort’s hotels. The prohibition will be added to the park rules post on Disney World’s website.

The issue has been building at Disney. Previously, the sticks were prohibited from its rides, and “no selfie-sticks” signs were at select rides, such as Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Magic Kingdom. Cast members have given verbal warnings to rule breakers.

Several incidents preceded the change, but officials have been discussing the rules for some time, Disney said. This week at Disney California Adventure park, a roller coaster was halted after a passenger pulled out a selfie-stick. The ride was closed for an hour.

Selfie-stick users put smartphones and cameras on the ends of poles to extend their reach, frequently capturing theme-park moments through self-portraits. The tools have been banned in public places – including some museums and stadiums – worldwide for obstructing views or causing safety issues.

Disney World already prohibits items such as skateboards, inline skates, wagon, folding chairs and glass containers, according to its official website, which also lists “other items that we determine may be harmful or disruptive.”

Universal Orlando has prohibited banned selfie-sticks and other loose items from certain thrill rides at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure theme parks, but it has not instituted parkwide bans. SeaWorld Orlando also does not keep the sticks from entering the parks.

By Dewayne Bevil

 

In defense of the selfie stick

In Defense of the Selfie Stick

From the sophisticated opinion of the trendsetters to Forbes, the Selfie Stick is the recipient of scorn and ridicule.

One of the popular arguments against the Selfie Stick is that you should build the courage to ask a stranger to take a picture of you or your group.

This poses three problems.

First, the courage/imposition problem. Asking a stranger in the street assumes that you will find such a volunteer.

Further, it assumes that the volunteer will have the patience to wait for the perfect shot (“wait, I want the waves breaking” or “Try to get the sign, just on top of me”). And that the volunteer will have the patience to show you the result and take another picture.

Often, the selfista that has amassed the courage to approach a stranger on the street, out of politeness, will just accept the shot as taken. Good or bad.

Except for a few of you (I am looking at you Patrick), most people feel uncomfortable imposing something out of the blue on a stranger.

And out of shyness, will not ask a second stranger for a better shot as long as the first one is within earshot.

I know this.

Second, you might fear for the stranger to either take your precious iPhone 6+ and run, or even worse, that he might sweat all over your beautiful phone and you might need to disinfect it.

Do not pretend like you do not care about this, because I know you do.

Third, and most important, we have the legal aspect.

When you ask someone to take a picture of you, technically, they are the photographer, and they own the copyright of your picture.

This means that they own the rights to the picture and are entitled to copyright protection. The photographer, and, not you, gets to decide on the terms to distribute, redistribute, publish or share the picture with others. Including making copies of it, or most every other thing that you might want to do with those pictures.

You need to explicitly get a license from them, or purchase the rights. Otherwise, ten years from now, you may find yourself facing a copyright lawsuit.

All of a sudden, your backpacking adventure in Europe requires you to pack a stack of legal contracts.

Now your exchange goes from “Can you take a picture of us?” to “Can you take a picture of us, making sure that the church is on the top right corner, and also, I am going to need you to sign this paper”.

Using a Selfie Stick may feel awkward, but just like a condom, when properly used, it is the best protection against unwanted surprises.

Posted on 22 Jan 2015 by Miguel de Icaza
Another article by Martin Parr  
http://www.martinparr.com/2015/the-selfie-stick/

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You have to hand it the guys in the street outside the main tourist attractions. They always sell what the latest craze is, and do so with great aplomb and persistence. Over the years, the goods for sale change as items come in and out of fashion. I recall laser lights, dancing dolls and dogs, and of course the ubiquitous fake designer bags.

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All except the bags and sunglasses have now been ditched in favour of the selfie stick: the must-have accessory for the modern day tourist experience.

This trend is quite new. When I was in Rome last summer there were few on the ground. Now they punctuate the skyline. The only time when they are ditched is when it starts raining, The selfie sticks are put away and out come the shit umbrellas and brightly coloured ponchos.

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Although many museums have now banned the selfie stick, outside in the street, especially in front of that iconic monument or landmark the stick comes into its own. Getting the photo of you and your loved one(s) with the landmark in the background is de riguer. The tourism industry, which is the biggest in the world, now dictates that the first requirement of any trip is to prove you were there with the necessary photo. It connects you to the world that we know and understand, and is a vital part of any successful holiday experience. We used to have to ask a passing tourist to take the photo, but thanks to the selfie stick those days are over and we are now self sufficient.

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What happens with this huge archive of self-expression and proof of visitation is anyone’s guess. Images get posted onto Facebook, or tweeted or Instagrammed and then probably forgotten. They certainly don’t make the family album; that genre has long since died.

I am writing this from Venice where every day there must be millions of self-portraits taken and an equal number of generic photos of this film set city. The only problem is waiting for the gap in the tourist traffic to ensure other people don’t block your view, or get into your photo.

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Anyway, I welcome this trend as, interestingly, you can get the whole scene in front of the camera and the backdrop all in one photo. Previously I had to make to do with photos of people from behind as they looked at the view.

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Selfie stick article from Vogue magazine

The #SelfieStick May Be the Most Shameless Fashion Accessory Ever

Do you remember the most mortifying moment of your life? Mine was today. I took a selfie. And no, I wasn’t simply snapping a “duck face” quickie with my iPhone. I was using a “selfie stick,” a claw-like, expanding wand reminiscent of a trash-picker that’s been modified to hold an iPhone at the end. I set the timer, gripped the subway pole, balanced the stick, almost toppled onto an exhausted mother, and smiled for the camera. Despite the stares, and practically taking out a fellow commuter, I actually looked halfway decent in the final product. There was significantly less of the facial-feature skewing that usually occurs with a regular selfie.

The selfie stick may seem solely for the extremely self-involved, but before you point fingers, or sticks, I’m not the only one using it. Look up #selfiestick onInstagram and almost 40,000 results of beaming couples and families holding the device appear. Its benefits are clear: There are more variation of angles, and more opportunities to fit people into a shot. Can you imagine what the epic Oscar selfie would have looked like with a selfie stick? The possibilities are endless.

Still, even if the selfie stick is a definite upgrade from a normal selfie method, is it acceptable to use? The reactions seem to be a mix of hate and curiosity: A coworker called the four-foot metal device the “measuring stick of narcissism;” my friend asked, “are you joking?” and two backpacking travelers inquired where they could buy one. The device even reared its retractable head during last New York Fashion Week, reaching far over rows of showgoers, like some sort of creepy robotic selfie drone. Within a few days, blogs had deemed it a “fashion no.”

Despite the criticism, there are still selfie stick supporters. DJ Hannah Bronfman saw the self-portrait tool at Art Basel Hong Kong in 2014. “It should be praised!” said Bronfman, who uses the PicStick for her selfie moments. “Selfie sticks aren’t used just for selfies—or at least they won’t be. For instance, the height you get from a selfie stick would be ideal for recording concert footage.” And as for getting odd stares while using their selfie stick? “In the U.S. for sure. Either weird looks, or ‘NO WAY!’” said Bronfman’s boyfriend, Brendan Fallis. “When we’re in Asia, we’re just another couple taking a selfie on a stick.”

I cajoled a colleague into joining me (sometimes she pressed the capture button for me) and continued my test drive on the streets of New York. My first stop was Shake Shack, where tourists took photos of me taking photos of myself (how #meta!) and one enthusiastic child photo-bombed half of my photos. Within 20 minutes, six people approached me and asked where I had bought it. Later in the day, I trotted over to Times Square and snapped some with the costumed characters, and a crowd of people quickly gathered—also taking photos of me taking a photo of myself. The stick even perfectly captured my grimacing expression when Elmo grabbed my waist, letting his hand linger there for well over a minute. My last stop was Bryant Park, where I took full body shots while rolling in the grass, and then to an arts and crafts pop-up, where I took photos of myself coloring. In a way, I felt as if I had a photographer friend chronicling all of my banal activities, yet in reality, I was just one lonely person, taking photos of myself. “It’s the ‘pretend I have friends stick!’” I announced to nobody in particular.

So, is the selfie stick going to be a staple accessory in the next few months? It’s definitely catching on, and if the passerby I met weren’t just openly mocking me, its popularity is growing. But if you’re going to use it, be prepared for the inevitable stares and comments, though if you’re already an avid selfie-taker, you’re probably not going to care about carrying a massive metal pole around too. As for me, I probably won’t use it ever again. At least not in public. After all, it does make for a great picture.

Latest trend, adding moulded logo’s to selfie sticks

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We attended the recent Electronics shows held in Hong Kong during April 2015.   At these shows we noticed a few new selfie stick models as well as new branding ideas.  One of the latest trends is the addition of moulded logo’s onto the handle of the selfie sticks.   This makes perfect sense, your logo can now be incorporated right into the selfie stick design.   Any brand that considers itself an integral part of youth culture today should consider this awesome new idea.  Marketers are always looking for ways to have their brand associated with fun and good times.

We assume this new branding idea originated up after a number of Chinese companies began selling counterfeit cartoon characters incorporated into selfie sticks as can be seen below.

Sponge bob selfie stick     Minnie selfie stick   Chanel selfie stick

 

Savvy marketers quickly jumped on board and added their brand to these sticks.  Check out the Mcdonalds and Monster examples below.

 

Monster selfie stick    Macdonalds selfie sticks

 

We can now offer this form of branding to our clients too from only 200 units.  It takes around 4 weeks to produce and a once off mould charge will be applicable.  The mould charge is quite reasonable due to this being a soft PVC moulding process.   We have extensive experience in this moulding process as we have produced hundreds of custom moulded USB flash drives as well as custom moulded power banks.