Freaking out about selfie-stick bans? Get a grip with this handheld accessory

Are you bummed that selfie sticks are being banned in, like, everywhere? Or have your friends started making fun of you, every time you extend that telescoping handle to shoot a group pic? A new camera accessory on Kickstarter, the Grip Dat, aims to bring some dignity back to shooting selfies.

The Grip Dat is a handgrip accessory with a cradle/quick-release monopod that holds a smartphone. It provides a sturdier, more comfortable hold when shooting with your smartphone, whether it’s for a selfie (with arm extended), trailing your subject for an action video, or making a broadcast via Periscope. The tilt-adjustable top-portion separates from the handle and can be attached to other mounting options, including those from GoPro; for example, you can quickly remove the camera from the handgrip and attack it to the mount on a helmet.

The grip/monopod is the brainchild of Steve Sawitz, a photographer who started shooting more and more with his smartphone. But he found holding a smartphone to be awkward, especially one-handed. According to Sawitz, the Grip Dat is a “cross-pollination” of a selfie stick and GoPro, taking the best of both. He has been testing prototypes every day, creating them with a 3D printer.

But, without a telescoping pole, how does one shoot wide-view selfies or group portraits? And, how do you press the shutter button if your hand is wrapped around the grip? The solution is a Bluetooth remote shutter that’s built into the grip. Paired with the smartphone (iOS and Android), you can detach the camera from the grip to shoot selfies from a far, or shoot remotely when you want to keep the camera as still as possible. The remote has a battery life of 500 clicks before it needs a recharge.

The handgrip is also compatible with GoPro cameras, when used with the standard housing. Simply remove the top-portion, and slide on the GoPro housing.

The Kickstarter campaign has already surpassed its funding goal. Grip Dat is expected to retail for $40, although you can pre-order one for $25, which quantities are still available. For $35 and up, you’ll get extras like clip-on lenses and mounts. The Grip Dat isn’t a new concept, but it’s a remote control camera accessory that’s relatively affordable. Kickstarter shipments are scheduled for September 2015.

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