The concept of the selfie stick seems to be as old as humanity itself — or at least as old as a zany sci-fi movie from 1970.
The origins of the selfie stick are murky. Hiroshi Ueda, an engineer for the camera company Minolta, appears to have experimented with an early selfie stick design as far back as the 1980s. But his work didn’t directly lead to anything, and Canadian Wayne Fromm filed a patent for a selfie stick in 2005.
Now, an earlier selfie stick design has surfaced on Reddit (prior art, if you will). The design comes from a clip from a 1970 Czech sci-fi comedy called “Zabil jsem Einsteina, pánové” (“I Killed Einstein, Gentlemen”). The clip shows a woman unfurling a selfie stick wand that flashes and then spits out a Polaroid-like photo from the bottom.
Here’s what it looks like in action:
In the movie, an atomic bomb explosion wrecks havoc when it causes women to grow beards and become unable to have kids. To remedy the situation, the UN decides to send a team back in time to murder Einstein, hoping that without his research atomic bombs will never be invented.