Ikea, the modular furniture retailer, has developed a cardboard camera to help promote their PS 2012 line of furniture. The camera has a cardboard outer casing, USB drive, lens, one circuit board, two plastic screws and two AA batteries. It’s light, compact, and recyclable. The company is planning on giving away a limited number of the cameras as part of it’s promotion to IKEA customers.
Ikea hopes these customers will take pictures of their IKEA furniture in home and upload it to a PS photography portfolio website to display furniture photos from around the world. The company doesn’t appear to have plans to sell any of these cute, eco-friendly cameras. However, the device does show that digital technology can be mass produced in an eco-friendly manner.
IKEA’s “Bare Bones Basics” Camera
These cameras are pared down to the bare bones basics. They don’t have zooms, special filters or even flash photography. It also takes three seconds to snap a photo and eight seconds to process it. However, they do take a color photograph at 2.3 mega pixels that can be uploaded to any computer with a USB port. Jesper Kouthold, designer of the cardboard camera, created a humorous promotional video describing how to use this little device. You can watch it for yourself below:
The little camera called KNAPPA is 4.13 inches wide by 2.56 inches tall. The outer cardboard case is held together by two plastic screws. Inside the device are the lens, circuit board and batteries. The USB drive extends from the upper side of the body. The whole camera has to be bodily plugged into the USB port on whatever device the photographs are being uploaded too.
KNAPPA can store up to 40 pictures before the memory has to be reset. Users can’t pick and choose which photos to save, unless they upload everything to the computer first. Resetting the memory involves sliding a paper clip end into the reset button and holding it down for five seconds. This clears the memory and users can take more photos. It’s not clear if the batteries on this camera can be replaced to keep using it once the power runs down. However, it may be possible for an ingenious person to find a way to snap apart the plastic screws in order to open up the body without tearing into the cardboard.
Green… or Greenwash?
While the idea behind these cameras is of course, first and foremost, to inspire customers to photograph and upload pictures of their Ikea furniture to promote the brand, one does have to ponder if there are other motives. Last month Ikea was in the news regarding their practice of cutting down 600 year old Russian forests for their furniture production. Are these cardboard cameras a greenwashing attempt, aimed at recovering from backlash over the old forest cutting? Or are the two uniquely separate? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Photo Credit: Ikea