After a string of selfie-related accidents, authorities in Moscow have begun accepting proposals for a city smartphone app aimed at making the practice safer. The key is to connect users with security cameras on the streets: The app would locate a person via GPS, tell them where to stand, start the street camera's timer and let the user edit the resulting picture, the Moscow Times reported.
The app was set to be privately funded and created, but city-approved, Artem Yermolaev, head of Moscow's department of informational technologies, told TV station M24. It'll likely be popular with young people and tourists, he said. But its true purpose is to take better -- and safer -- pictures from a bird's-eye point of view.
"For example, if you are at the [All-Russia Exhibition Center park] and try to take a selfie with the central fountain, it will not work because you are too close," Yermolaev said. "With this app, a selfie is possible. And our cameras have good resolution with 30x optical zoom."
Cпасибо Russia! >>The Safe Selfie Guide pic.twitter.com/VScXkmVA3U
— Stéphanie McKay (@Stephsimone) July 20, 2015
Russia has recently stepped up its efforts to tackle the dangers of selfies after a string of incidents related to the photo trend. About 100 people have been injured doing high-risk poses, among them two men who died in January while taking a selfie with an unpinned grenade. A 21-year-old woman also went to the hospital in May after accidentally shooting herself in the head while trying to take a selfie with a gun, and that same month a teenager fell onto live wires while trying to take a selfie on a bridge. A Russian national was shot taking a selfie along the border with Ukraine on Monday, International Business Times previously reported.
To combat this, Russian police have been distributing safe-selfie brochures and guidelines for photography. “The problem really exists and leads to very unfortunate consequences," Yelena Alexeyeva, an aide to the interior minister, told Agence France-Presse.