HISY Remote Shutter Promises Perfect Selfies–For a Price
Ever since phone makers started building front-facing cameras into their handsets, people have been snapping “selfies.” But only when some yutz coined that term last year did the selfie backlash begin.
Frankly, I don’t think the picture itself is the problem. It’s the process of taking them that needs work.
Think about it: Using just one hand, you have to hold your phone at arm’s length, then tap the screen or a button to trigger the shutter. That seemingly simple action often results in a slight jarring of the phone, which can lead to a blurry image. And how often do you screw up your carefully staged camera angle at the same time?
Available in black or white, the HISY (pronounced “high-see,” though I initially read it as “hissy” and now can’t unthink it) is a little plastic button pairs with your smartphone via Bluetooth. A preinstalled battery keeps it running for better than two years, according to maker Deuce Entertainment. I had no trouble linking it to an iPhone 5S.
Unfortunately, that’s all I can link it to: the HISY works only with iOS devices. Sorry, Android and Windows Phone users. The button is essentially a wireless trigger for an iPhone’s or iPad’s volume-up button, which is also its camera shutter-release button. In other words, one press of the HISY’s one button snaps a photo (regardless of which camera is active, front or rear). It can also start/stop video recording. And if you have an iPhone 5S, holding the button triggers burst mode.
Although the little gizmo is easily small enough to ride in a pocket, that’s an easy way for it to get misplaced. Fortunately, it comes with a headphone-jack charm attachment so you can keep it connected to your phone at all times. (You could also hang it from your keychain.)
So. Let’s forget the silly name. Forget the limited compatibility. Forget the fact that if you’re taking a selfie, you still have to hold the camera (and hold it steady). The problem with the HISY is this: It costs $25. Unless, that is, you buy it with the optional tiny plastic stand (?!), in which case it’s $27.
I’m sorry, but that’s insane. Twenty-five bucks for a Bluetooth button? To me this feels like a $10 item, something you’d grab on a whim for those moments when it might come in handy. I’m not saying the HISY doesn’t work or isn’t cool; it does and it is. I just think it’s woefully overpriced. And the reality is you can get something similar on Ebay for, well, about $10 — one that has buttons for both iOS and Android.
Now I’m ready for a smiling selfie.
Veteran technology writer Rick Broida is the author of numerous books, blogs, and features. He lends his money-saving expertise to CNET and Savings.com, and also writes for PC World and Wired.