Selfie sticks are hot

Selfie sticks are hot
NUS students who were meeting for a netball game taking a big group selfie with the aid of a selfie stick.

Remember that famous selfie taken at the Oscars that crashed Twitter?

"If only Bradley Cooper's arm was longer" - went the caption when Oscar-host Ellen DeGeneres posted it - he could have fitted all the celebrities into the photograph.

Now, there is a solution - the selfie stick.

Also known as a monopod, the device lets users extend their reach while taking photos of themselves.

And with "selfie" being last year's "word of the year", a stick that helps you take these photos has become the latest hot item, say shops that sell them here.

At least 11 shops in Funan DigitaLife Mall, Peninsula Shopping Centre, Lucky Plaza and Sim Lim Square have imported these sticks from China since December.

And the shop owners say the sticks are selling faster than you can say "cheese".

The sticks are mostly made of aluminium alloy and extend up to 1m in length.

There is also a 60cm-long plastic version sold at SLR Revolution in Funan DigitaLife Mall.

Both sticks can be directly attached to a compact camera or a clamp - sometimes sold separately - to hold a mobile phone. A larger clamp can hold a small tablet.

Set your smartphone camera on a timer or activate it remotely via Bluetooth, and snap away.

A selfie stick, plus clamp, costs from $29 to $38. And people are snapping them up.

For example, photography shop Artworkfoto in Funan DigitaLife Mall sells about five selfie sticks every day. Its director, Ms Khin Thawda, a Myanmar national in her 30s, says most buyers are men and women in their twenties.

"The stick lets them extend their reach and capture more background, so selfies look nicer," she adds.

Mr Melvin Poh, 39, manager of SG Camera Store in Peninsula Shopping Centre, says: "It lets you squeeze more people into one photo.

"We've been bringing in sticks for smartphones since 2010, but demand grew only last year after selfies became more popular."

He now sells about 50 sticks a week, compared to about 10 four years ago.

The demand is so strong that shops which do not sell them want to bring them in.

Ms Lee Ser Ser, manager of Alltronic Computer at Funan DigitaLife Mall who is in her 40s, says: "Every week, two or three customers ask for selfie sticks. It just makes sense to start bringing them in."

Sales assistant Aiffina Wang, 23, bought a selfie stick last month to take selfies with her friends on outings to Sentosa, Orchard Road and Changi Beach Park.

She says: "I have lots of friends, so the stick helps to fit them all into my photos. Without it, there won't be a photo where all of us are together.

"Even if I'm by myself, the stick lets me capture more scenery. It also lets me take selfies from more angles."

Senior events producer Hairol Salim, 29, bought a selfie stick four months ago for his travels to Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand.

Using the stick, he recorded videos of him and his friends walking on beaches, open fields and in cityscapes.

When he returned, he used the footage to make a short film as a memento of the trip. He says: "The film wouldn't have been possible without the stick. We would have felt too awkward asking bystanders to take videos of us."

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