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Garett Ochs was out at the bars with his buddies one night when everyone crowded together to take a group selfie. After many unsuccessful attempts, Ochs stumbled upon a problem that needed a fix.

“I remember thinking how ridiculous we looked trying to take a picture of ourselves, especially considering how many tries it took for us to get everyone in the picture without ‘the selfie arm’ getting into the frame,” he said.casecam3

Ochs, a University of Washington graduate and engineer at Bellevue-based Planetary Resources, spent the next several months working a potential solution. The result is CaseCam, an iPhone case that includes a flip-out mirror kickstand designed for users who want to take self-portraits without having to awkwardly hold their phone.

Garett Ochs and Justine
Garett Ochs and Justin Cicero.

The mirror, which clicks out and doubles as a tripod, reflects images into the iPhone camera — something existing products already do.

But here’s the unique part about CaseCam: The images and video captured can be sent to an accompanying CaseCam app, which inverts the picture and uses a WiFi viewfinder feature to allow a group to use another mobile device to see how they’re being framed in the shot.

The idea is to allow people to capture better photos of themselves, especially when there is not an impromptu photographer around.

“For people who take tons of photos with their phones, the CaseCam case and app make everything about this experience better – especially taking group photos,” Ochs said.

Ochs, who built CaseCam with Justin Cicero, launched a Kickstarter for the device today and hopes to raise $25,000. There are similar products on the market like MirrorCase and Covr Photo — which was built in Bellevue and raised $85,000 on Kickstarter — that redirect light into the phone’s camera. But Ochs said CaseCam separates itself with price and the ability to take photos and videos remotely.

Check out the Kickstarter video below:

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