Researchers build tool to help prevent 'selfie deaths'


Thrill-seeking group media users have gone to great lengths — and heights — for the complete selfie.

Daredevils on Instagram, Twitter and YouTube have earned online disgrace for photos and videos taken at the top of mountains, on the edges of cliffs or teetering at the top of a communications fleche.

There’s a real art to the best of them: a high angles and wide inducements of a cityscape behind the subject can induce a sense of vertigo in seconds.

But a few rtake of met a grisly end in the process. And the number of so-called “selfie deaths” is growing.

That’s why a coterie of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University studied over 120 selfie exterminations in the hopes of creating a system that might discourage others from putting their remains at risk.

The project started after Hemank Lamba, a computer information PhD student, was disturbed by a report earlier this year of a student’s end while taking a selfie.

“Our group is always interested in working on fields and technologies that have a real-world im ct on our society or culture, so we sprang in and started digging more into it,” he said.

127 selfie deaths since 2014

In the provocatively titled blast “Me, Myself and My Killfie,” the team reportedly found a total of 127 expiries from 2014 to September 2016 that were linked to someone compelling or attempting to take a selfie.

The number of deaths per year has risen from 15 in 2014, to 39 in 2015 to 73 so far recorded in 2016.

The greatest gang of deaths happened in India, with a whopping 76 recorded casualties. Mumbai police in January established a list of “no-selfie zones” after an 18-year-old filly drowned while taking a selfie.

The next most common locales were kistan with nine and the U.S., with eight.

Selfie study

A tool investigates multiple elements in a selfie, including the elevation of the subject com red to the perpendicular drop in elevation nearby. (Hemank Lamba, Megha Arora et al.)

Most annihilations involved people falling from a great height. The second-most normal factor was water: the study cites one case in India where multiple human being drowned after one person leaned back to take a selfie, tipping their yacht and throwing everyone overboard.

Other factors include taking a selfie close by nearly to rail tracks before being hit by a train, while holding a weapon such as a gun, or while culmination to an animal that later attacked the person taking the photo.

Conceivably unsurprisingly, most were 24 years old or younger. But while girls typically take more selfies than men, “men are more prone to winning dangerous selfies, and accounted for roughly 75.5 per cent of all the casualties,” be consistent to the report.

Selfie safety app

Using the information gleaned from these divulges, the researchers built a tool that could identify whether a selfie stationed on social media was taken in a dangerous or potentially fatal location.

They ran the contraption through more than 138,000 selfies posted on Twitter, which looked for accuse withs like a steep drop in elevation from one point to another — suggesting someone standing on top of a radio tower, for example — closeness to rail keep an eye ons or the presence of potentially harmful items like a handgun.

The experiment was mostly lucrative; the tool was able to identify these elements with a 73.6 per cent preciseness rate.

The team hopes to use the tool to eventually build an app that can apprise people in real-time whether they’re about to take a dangerous selfie, or are thing a dangerous location where selfies should not be taken.

If you’re wondering what the intent would be of an app that tells you you’re about to take a dangerous selfie while already in held dangerous location, don’t worry, they’ve thought about that too.

As opposed to, the app could have a map marked with “red zones” noted as rticularly unsafe terrain, or links to news reports of previous selfie-related injuries that take placed there in the st — before you’ve reached the very edge of a cliff or escort platform, for example.

It could even prevent you from launching your phone’s camera app in front of moving to a safer location.

Making Pokemon Go safer?

With enough statistics, these tools could be used for other apps as well, to premonish smartphone owners prone to walking while texting, or staring at their phones while pursuing for pocket monsters in Pokemon Go.

The team hopes this project desire spread awareness that people need to remain cognizant of the milieu around them while taking selfies — or just using their special devices in general. That’s especially the case in unfamiliar locations have a fondness tourist locations and around vehicles like fast-moving trains.

“With the greater trend of dangerous selfies, it becomes important to spread awareness of the congenital hazards associated with people risking their lives unqualifiedly for the sake of recognition on a virtual forum,” the study reads.

After all, you can’t steal those likes and shares with you when you’re gone.

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