Remember the IKEA cardboard camera that popped up in a Milan press goody-bag last week? It turns out that it was actually a thing — IKEA is billing it as the “world’s cheapest digital camera,” and it should be going on sale in the Swedish giant’s labyrinthine stores soon.
The camera is called the KNÄPPA, and is as low-tech as you’d expect from a piece of IKEA cardboard. You have to assemble the thing yourself (just two screws, [PDF] so don’t worry about complexity), and then press the power button down for a few seconds to wake it up. Shoot with the shutter release, and then wait for around eight (8!) seconds for the photo to write to memory.
There is no LCD, no way to delete individual photos (you can zap the entire memory by pressing a recessed button with a paperclip), and the camera runs on two AAA batteries.
And I love it. Not only do you have to snap your photos blind, like you had to do with film, but this cardboard body looks easy to open up and modify. I can see people building camera into all kinds of things. I have already concocted a plan to put one into a carved-out Moleskine notebook.
The price and launch date have yet to be confirmed, but my guess is that the cost will be in line more with IKEAs hotdogs than with its expensive kitchenware.