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Australia gives tourists a reason to put the selfie stick away

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If a virtual reality gaming center, trees with email addresses and the opportunity to cuddle a koala weren't enough to tempt you into taking a trip down under, perhaps an opportunity to participate in a massive-scale selfie project will do the trick. At least, that's the aim of a new service launched by Tourism Australia called GIGA Selfie.

Users open an accompanying app while standing on a round platform the company sets out in pre-announced locales; the platforms are plainly marked with where to place your feet. The app accesses the camera on smartphones and then directs users on where to position their phones to connect with the service via an overlay on the camera's UI. For example, an icon will show users they should position themselves to be facing a far-off pier before the app counts down the time to the shutter snap.

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A downloadable video then stitches together the close-up shot taken by the users' smartphone camera with an image of the surrounding area taken from the distant focus point. The result is a video that starts with the close-up selfie image, then zooms out to display the stunning surrounding landscape. The first opportunity to participate in the GIGA Selfie service will be at Surfers Paradise in the Queensland region of Gold Coast on September 5th and 6th. Interested travelers or Aussie locals can find more information on future GIGA Selfie locations on the company's website.

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