Do you have any idea when the first selfie stick was invented? Well, it was invented in the 1980s by Hiroshi Ueda, who worked for the Minolta camera company at the time and was a keen photographer, BBC reported. “Once, when I was in the Louvre Museum in Paris, I asked a child to take a photo of us, but when I stepped away, the child ran away with my camera,” he was quoted as saying.
Ueda came up with the “extender stick” — an extendable stick with a tripod screw that was designed for use with a new and small camera. He added a mirror to the front of the camera, so that photographers could see exactly what they were doing. The extender was patented in 1983 but it didn’t become a commercial success, as it was thought to be an “unnecessary” invention.
And today, the same selfie sticks have become so popular they are being seen as a menace and being banned from museums, art galleries and conferences. Canadian toy and gadget inventor Wayne Fromm likes to take the credit for the popularity of the selfie sticks.
He developed the Quik Pod, a hand-held extendable selfie stick in the early 2000s. He was unaware of Ueda’s earlier design, though he too came up with the idea during a European holiday. Fromm disclosed Ueda’s extender in his patent as “prior art”, but he believes the current selfie stick craze is a direct result of his own model. “It happened because of my work, and I can show a paper trail of that. There’s lots of knock-offs of my product that actually have my daughter’s picture on the packaging,” Fromm was quoted as saying.
Fromm’s product has sold well, but there are plenty of others profiting from it too, by producing cheap knock-offs. So many, in fact, that it is impossible to pursue them all. “It’s that you’re actually creating something fun, useful or helpful for people. So, I’m happy that the world has embraced the selfie stick,” he said. (IANS)