Business

Jamaican develops device for phone selfies, security

Saturday, July 05, 2014    

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SELFR, a handheld gadget that snaps photos on smartphones in order to avoid clumsy self-portraits, or selfies, began taking pre-orders this month in a crowdfunding campaign, according to AccuTrak Labs.

The device, which was developed by Jamaicans, uses bluetooth tag technology so it doubles as an anti-theft device. This means that the phone will alarm and send its GPS location once Selfr and the phone are separated by a predetermined distance.

Selfr is one of few locator products worldwide, but even less combine the selfie functionality.

"We have taken a deliberate decision to emphasise the selfie aspect a bit more (mostly due to the choice of name) because of all the similar Bluetooth devices launched in the last few months, none have had this feature," said AccuTrak founder and CEO Aldain Reid in conversation with the Observer. "Most have featured the locator aspect. So for market differentiation we went with the remote shutter as the lead."

The team currently is engaged in a crowdfunding campaign on the website Indiegogo which started June 30. It raised half of the conservative US$2,000 campaign, thus far.

"We are using crowdfunding to put it out there and the response have been awesome," Reid told about 50 techies at a Kingston Beta start-up event at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel on Thursday night. "We are pitching it to the world market. A Jamaican tech company hardly goes to launch a world product. It just doesn't normally happen.

"So we are hoping to break some ground and show everyone how to get into crowdfunding with your ideas. And secondly, how to potentially launch products. It's not very difficult, it's just working very smart and assembling a good team. The talent is here."

The team includes Reid, founder and CEO, Kamaal Manboard, director industrial design, Dale Kurt-Murray, director of IT infrastructure, Taj Francis, creative director, Ro-Shayne Whyte, chief information officer.

"How many of us have lost an expensive phone as we walked out of a restaurant. The fact is those days are over. This solves real world problems," Reid indicated.

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