“Selfie” deaths on the rise

A new app to the rescue

People will go to any length for a great selfie, often at the risk of their lives.  And as the number of such deaths is on the rise, a team of US researchers have come up with a way of confronting the problem.

According to the BBC, Ph.D. student Hemank Lamba and a team of friends at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh are developing an app that will warn people when their selfie-taking activities are putting them at risk, following research that revealed an exponential rise in such deaths between 2014 and 2016.

According to their findings, there were 15 selfie fatalities in 2014, 39 in 2015 and 73 in the first eight months of 2016.  By analyzing where and how such deaths took place, the researchers were able to devise an app that can detect when someone is taking a photo at an elevation, near train tracks, or in other perilous situations.

According to Hemank, the app will function through a combination of GPS feedback and a component able to identify parts of the image suggesting an unsafe location.

The team has tested 3,000 selfies with an algorithm they developed and claim a success rate of over 70% when it comes to identifying risky photo opps.

The app strives to add to the thrill of taking the ultimate selfie by eliminating the risk involved in doing so.  After all, the longer you stay alive, the more selfies you can take.