Ikea Camera Puts Cardboard To New Use

Ikea has built quite a reputation for itself as a purveyor of low-cost, yet stylish looking, assemble-it-yourself  furniture. Anyone who’s ordered this furniture online, or ventured into a cavernous Ikea store to purchase it in person, knows that it’s all packaged very neatly in cardboard boxes. But what do you do with a bookcase-sized box once the piece is assembled?

It seems that the Scandinavian home furnishings giant, which clearly has a sustainable inclination, has discovered what could be a creative way to deal with discarded packaging. At a recent design expo in Milan, members of the press were treated to an unexpected surprise: the Knäppa flat-pack digital camera made almost completely from cardboard.

Ikea cardboard camera

image via Ikea

The camera is powered by two standard batteries and has internal storage that allows it to hold up to 40 shots. A snap-out USB interface seen at the top lets users transfer the photos to a computer or other storage device, after which the camera’s memory can be deleted and filled up with new photos.

Gizmodo Italy says that the camera will soon be on sale in Ikea stores, but until then, it’s impossible to know the quality of photos you’ll be able to take with it. And while we love the idea that Ikea is looking for a clever way to repurpose used carboard, we think they could take their sustainability efforts even further. What about integrating a solar panel instead of powering the camera with  traditional batteries that will only end up as toxic waste? Or doing away with the plastic screws? And as The Verge points out, we’d love see the camera’s components sold in a box along with instructions for putting them together ourselves…using the box itself as the body, of course.

Here’s a video from the Ikea designer behind the camera:

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog