Why you should care
Because those cumbersome selfie sticks are so last year.
The art of taking a good selfie is something we’ve all become proficient at lately, carefully practicing the best way to angle our elbows and suck in our cheeks, emulating that dead-eyed hollow look Kim Kardashian’s popularized. The next step to upping our selfie game is the selfie stick, but the thought of owning one — and publicly admitting our vanity — makes us shudder … because we’d kinda like one.
Now we have an extremely ’80s solution to this problem, in the form of the Pop Stick, a snap band selfie stick that’s worn around the wrist and unrolls 20 inches to let you take get your best smize on. Your phone snugly attaches to a mount at one end, and when you’re done annoying locals, you can easily roll it up again. Bluetooth is integrated so that you can remotely trigger the camera shutter with a button press. It’s available in five colors — blue, pink, white, black and green — and will cost around $20-$30 when it ships in August (you can register to preorder now).
The inspiration came from watching people use selfie sticks in Las Vegas.
“Running around with a [regular] selfie stick is like holding an umbrella in your hand when it doesn’t rain,” Pop Stick’s Chief Marketing Officer Patrik Kloz tells OZY. He says the inspiration for their slap bracelet came from watching people use selfie sticks in Las Vegas, and thinking there had to be a more entertaining and convenient way to do this. Taking inspiration from ’80s fads, the slap ’n snap concept was born. To make it durable, they used waterproof, military-grade material — the same that’s used by the British Armed Forces. Kloz says he wanted the Pop Stick to be “super sturdy when fully extended, but still easy to roll back.”
“The trade-off is looking like you’ve never escaped the ’90s [when slap bracelets were popular],” says Gear Diary editor-in-chief Judie Lipsett Stanford, but she advises it could be helpful at festivals and places where the traditional selfie stick is banned. In 2014 South Korea banned unregistered Bluetooth sticks, calling them a security risk, and they are now prohibited in venues that include Beijing’s Forbidden City and London’s National Gallery. They were also banned from Apple’s developers conference in San Francisco last month. So while the Pop Stick is discreet, it can still be illegal and get you in trouble.
And while it’s not pretty — there are plans for new colors and patterns and custom covers — it’s portable. The traditional selfie stick is bulky and unwieldy to carry, whereas the Pop Stick easily extends and breaks down. With selfie stick sales rising worldwide — Amazon UK reported a 301 percent increase in sales in the run-up to Christmas and Amazon.com lists 8,116 selfie sticks and related accessories for sale — the trend looks set to continue.
It seems there will be no end to the narcissistick movement anytime soon, so if you can’t beat them, why not join them? Now slap that.