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The latest tech is aimed at generation selfie
If you were hoping that selfies were going to be a passing trend, like say Tamagotchis or Words With Friends, then we’re afraid we have some bad news for you. Just as 2013 is to go down in history as the year ‘Selfie’ became so ubiquitous that it was added to the Oxford English Dictionary, 2014 will be the year tech companies well and truly cashed in on the phenomenon.
Selfie gadgets started cheap and simple, largely consisting of stands and attachments that help you to find the perfect angle. Take Selfie Pods, for instance, the naff extendo-arm that’s designed to shoot you and your friends from a more comfortable distance than the arm can reach. The company quickly sold out of its first batch of Pods, meaning there’s a lot of people now walking around with a quite sizeable pole on their person in case they want to take a quick self-portrait. Less than ideal.
In recent months, though, the selfie gadget has evolved – for better and for worse. See if you can work out which of the below are the hits and which are the misses.
While smartphones have been the catalyst behind Generation Selfie so far, it only makes sense that ‘proper’ cameras would want to steal back a slice of their own cake. In 2014, then, we’ve seen the emergence of ‘selfie cameras’ such as Samsung’s NX Mini and Nikon’s recently announced Coolpix S6900, making use of flip-up screens to operate like your phone’s front-facing camera.
To be honest, it feels like camera companies are fighting a losing battle if they want to compete with the increasingly mighty megapixels inside our phones, but if Selfie Pods managed to sell out then who knows what the future holds?
Perhaps spurred by these movements in the camera industry – or the increasing dominance of Samsung and Apple in the smartphone market – the ‘selfie phone’ became a buzz word at tech conventions earlier this year. The first major company to take this idea seriously was Nokia, whose Lumia 730 featured a 5mp HD camera in the front – switching the emphasis which is traditionally focussed on a high-power snapper in the back.
It’s not just Nokia who are following the trend, though, with rumours circulating that Samsung is readying its own selfie phone for an announcement later this year. There’s also the Oppo N1, which features a 13mp camera which operates as both its rear and front-facing camera via a unique swivel mechanism. We have a feeling we’ll be hearing plenty more about selfie phones in the near future.
Here’s where things begin to get silly again. Cameras and smartphones are one thing, but where are the real gimmicks? The cosmetics industry, of course.
First came the selfie mirror – because staring lovingly into our own eyes wasn’t enough, we needed a picture to take away with us when we’re finished. Meanwhile, Sony has also been hard at work on a selfie camera designed in the shape of a perfume bottle, because…actually we’re not sure why they’ve been working on that.
Last but not least is the Selfie Brush, which was unveiled earlier this week to a, shall we say, mixed reception. The $20 brush has a slot for your smartphone so you can style and snap pictures in a single movement. The good people behind the Selfie Brush promise you’ll be able to take “the best selfies ever” and we trust they know what they’re doing.
So, after selfie cameras become a hit or a flop, smartphones max out on megapixels and the cosmetics industry runs out of ideas – where do we go from here? Selfies on toast? Let’s hope not.
One of the more surreal concepts we’ve seen is the selfie drone – or ‘dronie’, if you prefer. That’s right, selfies could soon be taking to the skies with new commercially available drones like AirDog coming specially equipped with cameras to catch all the action. If you were a Selfie Pod owner and found you still were’t getting enough reach on your photos, then, soon you’ll be able to get a flying robot to take it for you.