South Korea bans selfie sticks

By Efrosini Costa

South Korea bans selfie sticks
A move by their government to ban bootleg selfie sticks has angered  South Koreans.

I know what you’re thinking, what is a selfie stick?

Believe it or not, they are extendable rods manufactures to enable smartphone users to remotely trigger their phone to take a picture.

Selfie sticks are widely popular in Korea and with tourists as they enable the perfect shot every time.

You see the trouble is that human arms aren’t quite long enough to get you and that famous landmark, tourist attraction or background in shot.

The product first debuted on the market in February this year. First used by extreme sports aficionados the stick’s use has exploded primarily in east and Southeast Asia.

But the selfie stick is expected to go global thanks to its inexpensive parts and an inexhaustible appetite for selfies or self portraits from a better vantage point than ‘humanly’ possible.

Now a controversial move by the South Korean government threatens to ruin all that.

They are concerned that contraband versions of the selfie sticks will disrupt other vital electronic devices, such as medical equipment using the same radio frequencies.

According to the Wireless Telegraphy Act, which came into force on november 21, it is a violation to sell, manufacture or import communication devices without authentication.

Violators face a fine of up to $30,000 or a maximum prison sentence of three years.

But critics say the governments fears were unfounded.

“No matter how many people press the button at the same time, it’s not sufficient to interfere with other devices’ network or cause interference in frequencies in unlicensed bandwidth,” says wireless systems researcher Kim Chung-ki, from Korea University.

“So practically-speaking, it’s hard to cause frequency interference with a bluetooth selfie stick.”

Kim Sung-eun, a smartphone accessories retailer who sells selfie sticks, told reporters he felt the new regulation was excessive.

“Most of people have selfie sticks these days. It’s now too late, I think this regulation of selfie sticks is useless and is excessive control.”

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