Friday, July 19, 2024

A Selfie Of The Selfie Stick: The Electronics Behind It

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There used to be a time when packing for an outing meant taking along just one’s purse, keys and grooming kit. It slowly expanded to maybe a phone, a camera. The latest addition to the list today is the seemingly indispensable ‘Selfie Stick’. But do we know how this stick works? Read on to find out.

The selfie stick
Everyone knows what a selfie stick is and has probably even used one. A selfie stick comprises of a collapsible stick to enable image capture from different angles, a secure hold set-up for the camera or mobile phone and a mechanism for triggering the device’s action. Let us explore this further.

The different types of selfie sticks
The various types of selfie sticks available today can be narrowed down to three main categories based on their functioning:

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  • Headphone jack connected
  • Bluetooth-connected
  • Remote-controlled, Bluetooth-connected.

Let us explore each of these individually.

Headphone jack connected selfie stick. The simplicity of this design will make one wonder how people come up with such ideas. Most smartphone cameras today have a volume button feature. A click on the increase-volume button triggers the camera’s shutter. This version of the selfie stick exploits this fact. The stick comes with a button on it and a wire that is to be plugged into the earphone jack of the device. When you want to click a picture, all you need to do is press the button. This sends a volume-up trigger to the device via the wire and the camera takes a snap.

The only requirement here is to make sure that the volume-increase-click-photo setting is enabled in the device. If the feature itself is not present, all that is to be done is to install one of the camera applications that aid this functioning. Here is a link to one such application.

Bluetooth-connected selfie sticks.Turn on your device, search for Bluetooth devices and connect to ‘Selfie Stick’. Open the camera app if it is a phone or fix the settings if it is a camera; position it on the selfie stand; stand back and pose. Press the button on the handle of the selfie stick and it wirelessly sends a signal to the device to perform a capture operation. Some advanced sticks include buttons for functions like zoom in and zoom out also. The only catch in this is that you need to make sure that the stick itself is charged before you can use it.

Remote-controlled Bluetooth-connected selfie sticks.The connection mechanism behind this type is the same as that of the above Bluetooth-controlled version. The difference: the device here is operated by means of a handheld remote that controls the functioning through Bluetooth. The advantage of this version is that you need not necessarily hold the stick in your hand while taking a snap, just the remote would suffice.

Make your own selfie stick: We are in a do-it-yourself (DIY) age, when hobbyists are coming up with great ideas for making interesting selfie sticks on their own. Check out the links below for DIY selfie sticks that you could try too.

Wand of Narcissus – A super selfie stick
A simple DIY selfie stick
A selfie stick that glows in the dark

Of course, the same selfie sticks could be used to take videos, by enabling the button to start and stop the video capture. Maybe the next interview for EFY can be a selfie-video!


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