Matthew Theunissen

Matthew Theunissen is a reporter for the Herald on Sunday.

Smartphone selfie craze stretches to a long, smart stick

The selfie stick being sold by Josh Maunsell could have improved Ellen's Oscars selfie. Photo / Doug Sherring
The selfie stick being sold by Josh Maunsell could have improved Ellen's Oscars selfie. Photo / Doug Sherring

Selfaholics are taking the trend of photographing themselves to whole new lengths.

A so-called "selfie stick" - already established in many Asian countries - is emerging in New Zealand as a way to hold smartphones further away for self-portraits.

The stick would have enhanced the most famous selfie of them all - a group of A-list celebrities at this year's Oscars ceremony.

"If only Bradley's arm was longer," said Ellen Degeneres of fellow celeb Bradley Cooper, who took the selfie that became the most-shared Twitter photo yet.

Selfie sticks for phones were unveiled at this year's Mobile World Congress. Some have a button at one end to fire the shutter and others contain a Bluetooth remote.

New Zealand's major electronics retailers are yet to stock the devices, but Josh Maunsell of screenhug. co.nz has imported several from China and expects customers to snap them up on Trade Me for $14.95.

"It's easier to take a selfie because there's this long rod which goes out and you can fit a bigger group in if you want," he said.

"I noticed heaps of them when I was overseas in Hong Kong recently, people with their phones on the end of these poles taking photos like that because they can't be bothered asking someone else to take it for them."

He imagined New Zealanders would soon catch on.

"I guess if you're confident then it doesn't really matter if it looks a bit dumb."

Internet Party leader Laila Harre, who recently posted a poorly-taken group selfie from a union conference, said she would have no qualms about using a selfie stick.

"I think that would improve my selfie performance by a country mile," she said.

"A stick would be fantastic because I have a tremor that I was born with and that does make my selfie product kind of shaky."

"Selfie" was the Oxford Dictionary word of last year, after everyone from Barack Obama to the Pope joined in the trend.

- Herald on Sunday

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf05 at 23 Dec 2014 08:19:01 Processing Time: 473ms