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    Indian Techies Develop App to Combat Fatal Selfies

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    In an effort to prevent selfie deaths and injuries, the Indian Institute of Technology Ropar (IIT Ropar), has developed an artificial intelligence-based app which analyses the environment around the mobile phone user and alerts him or her of any danger.

    New Delhi (Sputnik): India, infamous as the country of highest selfie deaths, now has an application developed by its techies to counter the growing number of selfie-related fatalities in the country. The application has been named as ‘Garuda' by its developers. 

    "The app analyses the images and indicates the presence of imminent danger behind the user. The examples of dangerous scenarios can be a vehicle in the background or a cliff, which may potentially be dangerous for the user. If the software predicts that the background is dangerous, then an alert is sent to the user," said Dr. Abhinav Dhall who leads the learning effect and semantic image analysis group at IIT Ropar. 

    ​The application was developed by Dr. Abhinav Dhall, an assistant professor at IIT Ropar, and his students Jitender Singh and Harsh Vardhan Dogra.

    Lately, India, with an ever-increasing number of smartphone users, has earned the dubious distinction of having witnessed many selfie-related deaths, including selfie takers who were run over by trains or cars, drowned, or fell from cliffs or buildings. 

    READ MORE: Out of Focus? Study Finds Selfie Addiction Could Be Real Mental Disorder

    Last year, a man was mauled to death by a bear while taking a selfie in Orissa. In another incident, a young person was crushed to death by a wild elephant in Rourkela while he attempted a selfie with it. Similarly, two persons drowned in a fish pond while taking a selfie in Kolkata. The most ghastly incident of all was one in which four people were mowed down by a train in April 2017 in the city of Howrah.

    India has had the highest number of selfie-related deaths, according to a study done between March 2014 and September 2016 by Carnegie Mellon University and Indraprastha Institute of Information Delhi. There were a reported 127 selfie deaths during the 18-month period reviewed.

    The issue is so serious that India's largest city Mumbai is planning to declare 15 of its most dangerous urban visitor points 'selfie-free zones' to prevent accidents. 

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    tech, App, deaths, selfie, warning, safety concerns, India
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