If you've got a craving for cheap Swedish meatballs or self assembly furniture, IKEA is normally a safe bet. But despite announcing its new UPPLEVA "hybrid furniture" range, IKEA probably wouldn't be your first stop when looking for consumer electronics … and that's not going to change with the unveiling of the KNÄPPA flat-pack cardboard digital camera.

That's because the KNÄPPA - which runs on two AA batteries and can hold 40 x 2.3 megapixel images - isn't another move by the Swedish furniture giant into selling digital gizmos. IKEA is keen not to confuse us on this point: "Just to be clear, this isn’t a move into selling any digital equipment."

Instead, limited numbers of the 4.13 x 2.56-inch (105 × 65 mm) camera will be given away in IKEA stores 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 (though hopefully not still in hundreds of parts).

Designed by Jesper Kouthoofd, the recyclable camera is made out of one piece of folded cardboard which is secured by two plastic screws. A single circuit board holds all the electronics, camera sensor and integrated USB connector. There is a combined on/off and shutter button on the front - holding it down for a few seconds turns the KNÄPPA on or off and a "firm click" takes a photo.

The performance of the KNÄPPA isn't likely to worry the likes of Nikon or Canon. It shoots a three second exposure, but processing takes eight seconds (during which time another image cannot be taken) and the results are decidedly lo-fi (think a 2004 camera-phone). IKEA jokes about the lack of functions in the promo video below - to use the "zoom function" you simply extend your arms, and "advanced image stabilization" involves resting the resting the camera on a chair.

Once 40 photos have been taken, users plug the 2.3 megapixel camera - billed as “the world's cheapest digital camera” - into a USB port and transfer the images in the normal manner. Images can then be deleted from the camera by using a paperclip to press the delete button on the front for about five seconds.

Source: IKEA (Swedish) via BBC