Graduation and prom season is upon us and what better way to preserve the memories than with selfies. The problem is it’s not easy to take a group shot unless you have super long arms or famous selfie-taker Bradley Cooper on hand.
There are remote shutters, such as Hisy, which activate the camera shutter on your phone, but the problem is, you don’t always have the remote around when you need it. Or, it’s lost somewhere in the bottom of your bag.
iLuv, a maker of mobile phone accessories, is solving that problem with Selfy, a mobile phone case with a wireless camera remote built in. The device, which fits comfortably in your hand, slides easily out of the rear of the phone case when you’re in the mood to snap a selfie. Once it’s paired to your phone via Bluetooth, you can set the phone on a shelf or table, or hold it as far out as you can and click.
I’ve been using the Selfy case for a few days and while I miss my floral-design phone case, the Selfy offers the same shock-absorbing protection from drops without adding significant bulk. The back of the case has a slight curve and so it felt comfy in my hand. The sides are flat so I could safely balance my phone on a desk or table to take a picture. I also liked that the built-in remote was super easy to slide out, never once did I fear a broken nail in the process.
I tried the remote at a party where I simply handed my phone to the person with the longest arms and was able to snap the selfies myself. I appreciated not having to open and use a third party app to make it work.
iLuv is working on creating a remote photo and video ecosystem by offering additional accessories for the Selfy, such as a flexible mini tripod, and bike and car mounting systems. That way you can safely shoot action-packed video and not worry about shaky video or dropping your phone trying to reach the shutter.
One minor quibble: The remote turns itself off after a few minutes of inactivity, which is great for battery life but I kept forgetting I had to turn it on again before I snapped the selfie. That’s a small complaint and when everyone is laughing trying to get settled into the shot, no one seems to mind the extra few seconds.
Selfy works by activating the volume button on your iPhone, which can actually be used to take a picture when the camera app is open. (Good to know if your hand can grasp the side of your device but can’t reach the front.) By pressing the remote shutter in camera mode you’ll take a picture or shoot video. If you’re not in camera mode, the Selfy remote will turn up the volume on your phone or ringer.
Selfy cases are available now for $49.99 for iPhone 5/5S and Galaxy S5 and come in black and pink. The additional mounts will cost anywhere from $19.99 to $24.99.