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5 oddball gadgets for greater selfies

5 oddball gadgets for greater selfies
© Wollertz | Dreamstime.com

Love them or hate them, selfies aren’t going anywhere. In fact, the very first selfie dates back at least as far as pioneering photographer Robert Cornelius, who snapped a fetching self-portrait in 1839. We’ve come a long, long way since then. Modern selfie-takers have cameras in their pockets at all times, but they also have access to some delightful (and delightfully absurd) gadgets that elevate the selfie experience.

1. Fly the selfie skies

Toss that selfie stick away. You can now get a flying selfie drone that will buzz around and take your photos for you. The Hover Camera Passport from ZeroZero Robotics folds up small enough to fit in your backpack, so you can take it along on all your selfie adventures. Don’t worry, you don’t need to send your phone flying to use the Hover Camera Passport; it already comes with a built-in camera.

The drone is designed to fly around autonomously, following you and filming you from the air. It’s like a very fancy airborne selfie stick. Set it to automatically track your face or body, or control it like a regular drone using an app.

One big disadvantage to the Hover Camera Passport is the $599 price tag. This definitely qualifies it as a luxury item. What makes it intriguing despite the cost is the clever folding design. A cage-like structure protects fingers from the propellers. You can even grab it right out of the air when you’re done filming. You may decide to stick with a traditional selfie stick, but adventurous selfie fans with deep pockets will enjoy having their own flying paparazzi machine.

Tip within a tip: Taking selfies is fun, but it can also get you into some trouble if you're not careful. Click here and avoid making this selfie mistake that could let thieves steal your identity.

2. Flying selfies on a budget

If you love the idea of the Hover Camera Passport, but want a much cheaper alternative, then look to the JJRC H37 Elfie. It costs closer to $50, but it’s more of a fun selfie toy than a serious piece of photography equipment. It folds up to fit in your pocket, has an integrated camera, and includes an altitude-hold mode to keep it steady while it’s filming you. It doesn’t automatically follow you like the Hover, but you can control it with your smartphone and it will broadcast the live video from its camera directly to your phone. You won’t get stunning high-def selfie videos, but it will keep you entertained.

3. Get your dog’s attention

Selfies are more fun when there’s a cute pet in the picture, but your pup doesn’t always want to cooperate. There is a secret to getting the perfect dog selfie. What is the one thing your dog loves almost as much as you? Tennis balls. The Pooch Selfie is an amusingly oddball attachment that hooks onto the top of your phone and holds a tennis ball in place above the screen.

The Pooch Selfie fits most iPhone and Samsung Galaxy models, but it doesn’t fit over a lot of popular cases, so you might have to take your case off before using it. The attachment comes packaged with a squeaking tennis ball. The idea is to attract your pup’s attention with the ball so Fido will look right at the camera. Then all you need to do is pose with your pooch and snap the selfie. You can take the ball off and use it to play fetch, but be mindful of the dog slobber if you plan to snap it back onto your phone afterward.

One more tip: Depending on your dog’s attitude toward balls, you might need to take special care to be sure your canine doesn’t lunge at your phone while you’re taking pictures.

4. Remote control your selfies

You don’t have to be in direct contact with your phone to take a selfie if you have a device like Gadgin’s Bluetooth remote control camera shutter release. This battery-powered gadget has one purpose: to trigger your camera from a distance. It connects to your phone using Bluetooth. Push the button and snap a selfie. This frees you from trying to hold your phone steady as you pose and also makes it easier to get more of the background into the shot. It’s compatible with most Android and iOS phones and tablets.

There is a fair number of selfie remote controls on the market. Some selfie sticks even have them built right in. The Gadgin version is compact and can double as a keychain.

Tip within a tip: Selfies come with their own risks. Many people go to extremes to capture that perfect shot, sometimes even leading to accidental deaths. But that isn't the only risk involved. If you're using this particular selfie app, the developers could be tracking your every move.

5. Light up your face

Bad lighting is the enemy of a good selfie. The Moon selfie light is a new gadget currently in the pre-order phase with an expected release sometime in early 2017. It clips over the top of your smartphone and shines a light toward you, but what makes it interesting is the level of adjustments it offers.

The Moon lets you control both brightness and color temperature, so you can compensate for the ambient light and find the most flattering settings for your face. The controls are accessed by touching the gadget’s shell. If the Moon delivers on its promises when it ships, then it could become the go-to selfie light for serious selfie photographers.

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