The selfie stick may have become an all-too-common photography appendage today, but people have been struggling to get group photos for ages. Well, here's the Canadian who thought of pioneering the extended camera interface, which people now refer to as the selfie stick.
Way back in 2002, Wayne Fromm was holidaying with his daughter in Florence, taking in the sights and capturing them on his camera. He was faced with the exact same dilemma vacationers face every day: How to get a group photo that includes all. Moreover, like many people, they too found it awkward to just ask somebody to take their photo. However, upon returning, Fromm didn't forget the problem, and set about creating a selfie stick type tool that would extend the camera away from the people and then captured a photo.
"We were just alternating pictures. So when we came back to Toronto I started thinking about how I could create something."
Fromm considers himself an inventor, and has dabbled in toy-making. Hence he started tinkering with everyday objects to perfect his design.
"I spent a couple of years looking at umbrellas, taking them apart. I was studying magnetic pickup tools. I was studying anything that had extendable segments and a rod. I just kept meeting one impasse after another."
Though tricky, he eventually managed to perfect his design of a modern day selfie stick. Fromm created a telescopic pole and grip that you could travel with, which would hold a camera far enough away without slipping, breaking, or being too heavy. He even patented his design, calling it – Quik Pod – as in quick tripod. However, unlike today's modern selfie sticks that work well with the phones' Bluetooth, Fromm's invention relied on the camera's timer to snap photos.
This was in 2005. Smartphones and digital imaging hadn't become commonplace. Social media and YouTube were nowhere, and so was the craze of snapping selfie images and posting them on the internet. Unsurprisingly, Fromm had a hard time making his selfie stick concept a marketable product.
Though Quik Pod did sell, it wasn't a sensation as today's selfie sticks. While it was technically a success, Fromm's selfie stick didn't fly off the shelves. On many occasions, it didn't even get featured on shelves.
Today, the scenario is very different. The selfie stick has become a household word and a stocking stuffer as well. Interestingly, people have been sticking their cameras on poles since long back, admits Fromm.
"If it were not for my work over the 10 years, today's selfie stick would not exist," says Fromm.
[Image Credit | Quik Pod, The Guardian]