Apple isn’t sloughing off on the “Slofie” — the tech giant recently applied to trademark the new term used to describe the slow-mo selfies possible on the new iPhone 11. Much to the internet’s amusement, Apple used the term to describe the new 120-frames-per-second video possible in the front-facing camera on the latest round of iPhones. Many thought they were kidding and held on to the hope that the internet wouldn’t be inundated with cringeworthy slow-motion selfie videos — but, alas, the trademark application suggests otherwise.
While the term is new, the Slofie is simply made possible by taking the slow-mo mode already available on the rear-facing iPhone cameras and adding it to the selfie camera. Apple showed off the concept during the iPhone launch event last week using a humor-heavy ad showing a dramatic, wind-blown Slofie — then pulling back to show a teenager and her little brother with a hairdryer. Despite using the term during the presentation, in the new iPhone 11s, the Slofie is called the same slow-mo as the mode that’s on the rear-facing camera.
Slow-motion videos certainly have their place, particularly for action shots, but just how often will the occasion call for a slow-motion video held at arm’s length? Granted, there may be a few occasions where a Slofie is warranted and even fun, but in the wrong hands, the technology could easily make bad selfies even worse. Unless you have a really long selfie stick, Slofies are limited to a head-and-shoulders shot, which will hopefully limit the number we see taking over news feeds.
The selfie’s popularity has lead to the creation of subcategories of “-ie” photographs, like the “groupie,” “shelfie,” “delfie,” or, our personal favorite, just giving someone else the phone to take a “someoneelsie.” Few of the terms have really taken off — though #groupie has more than 700,000 posts on Instagram — but there may be just enough people making fun of the Slofie on Twitter for the term to warrant a Trademark.
Apparently, Apple is willing to spend the $400 Trademark application fee to keep competitors from using the term on their own devices. (An indiscernible blip in the budget for Apple, we know). Unfortunately for the rest of us, a Trademark only prevents using the name, so there’s still the possibility of seeing slow-motion selfies shot on a non-Apple device under a different name. But would a Slofie by any other name look any less cringeworthy?
If the term sticks around, Slofie could be the next duck lips. And no, Apple, that’s not a compliment.