The Ikea Camera
Released in April at a conference this year and apparently with limited numbers to be given away in stores later this year to promote the new PS 2012 furniture collection - with the aim being that shoppers will use it to share images of the furniture range in their own homes. I am very embarrassed to say I had no idea about Ikea's release and foray into the world of digital cameras!!
Okay, okay, so they're not going to be the next Nikon, nor are they trying to be but I love the fact that once again, applying their humour and execution of simplicity, they have pulled off a lovely bit of design with a value behind it. Billed as “the world’s cheapest digital camera”, the KNÄPPA is made out of a single piece of folded cardboard, a single circuit board, a camera sensor, and an integrated USB connector.
It was designed in collaboration with Stockholm's Teenage Engineering (A design outfit who work on their own projects but also set time aside for research and development in electronics, mechanical engineering, design and user interface experience. and have collaborated with other companies as well, like with companies like Sony Ericsson, New Balance, Absolut and Heineken.
Camera Quality and Sample Photos
To get to the photos you need to plug the camera into a USB port. When you first connect it, Windows 7 automatically installs the drivers, hopefully this applies to Mac's too!).
They aren't the best quality but you can get quite decent photos if you manage to keep the camera steady and keep your environment well lit. To prevent the eco-friendly camera from taking its own pictures while stored in your bag or pocket, the shutter button doubles as the power button. Holding the button down for a few seconds turns it on before the clicking actually snaps photos.

Description and Assembly
It is made of thick cardboard wrapped around a piece of PCB plastic. The camera uses 2 x AAA batteries (using IKEA batteries here, obviously).
There are 2 buttons on the front, a big one for turning on/taking a photo/turning off the camera and a small one to delete the photos from the device. On the back there’s a small green LED light indicator for letting you know when the camera's ready and there are small vinyl bolts and nuts to keep the camera together. On the side of the camera there’s a USB connector for downloading (40 pictures before users have to manually transfer them.)
Assembling the camera is easy. You slide the two batteries in the battery compartment and you bring the other cardboard flap of the camera over to keep the batteries in place and then you put the bolts through the holes and then screw the nuts on to secure.
It's essentially a digital pinhole camera. But there’s something special about it as I said before, theres something beautiful about IKEA applying its furniture design ethics to a digital medium. It's simple, thoughtful, clean design makes you think - why not? or even, why not more?! 
PLEASE IKEA! Please let the rest of us have a go on them!


Post a comment