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IKEA reveals KNÄPPA cardboard digital camera


April 28, 2012

KNÄPPA is a flat-pack cardboard digital camera from IKEA

KNÄPPA is a flat-pack cardboard digital camera from IKEA

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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

About the Author
Simon Crisp Simon is a journalist and photographer who has spent the last ten years working for national UK newspapers - but has never hacked a mobile phone - and specializes in writing about weird products and photography technology. When not writing for Gizmag, Simon is often found playing with LEGO and drinking far too much coffee. All articles by Simon Crisp

What a stupid wasteful idea.

For the price of producing this, they may as well have given people a nice basic mobile phone instead.

If they were half smart they should have opted for giving people a choice of a set of metric combination spanners or Allen keys or socket drivers instead.

Mr Stiffy

Guess what? They did it to get attention, get us to smile and show they are different. It worked! It is the kind of thinking that got cracker jack to put cheap worthless prizes in boxes of candy popcorn. Let's face it. Even adults like disposable trinkets.


Relax people. For a Swedish company this is way over-the-top tongue-in-cheek. I think is quite clever and will likely be a great marketing success.

Christopher Booher

Half the stuff I get from Ikea comes with Allen Keys, and a decent set of "spanners" costs a lot and takes up a decent amount of room (thanks, I don't need another set). On the other hand, I would be happy to take this digital camera, shoot some furniture photos (especially after I put in the hard work getting everything to line up) and then hand the camera off to a friend's six year old. Also, if it's cheaper than a Fugifilm camera, then it's probably also cheaper than a quality tool set too. It seems like a great promotion to me, especially if they manage to get some cardboard box art in the mix.

Charles Bosse

It is a really smart idea. The actual production costs of this camera are pennies. Hundreds of times cheaper than things like phones, spanners, or allen wrenches. This is actually part of the guts of what used to go into old cell phones, and they have a lot of left over inventory. In fact they probably make a profit giving them away because of the tax benefits. Nor are they that bad. The image is usable, while there is nothing to worry about with the camera if you lose it. Ideal for a trip to the museum or something. But instead of throwing them away, do something creative, like putting one on a kite, toy helicopter, balloon, etc., where you don't even need or want the cardboard sheath.


Relax people? Twas only me.

Give people a really crappy low res almost disposable cardboard digital camera - instead of something actually useful.

What's the next bright move oh IKEA troll? Free Chewing Gum retreads for worn shoes?

Mr Stiffy

It reminds me of the old joke patent drawings for the "low-cost graphical output device" which consisted of a piece of paper and a pencil, and the "remote communication input device" which was a mailbox.


Two years, in lieu of a Christmas Bonus, Ikea gave its employees a cheap bicycle. eBay was flooded with them.

Could this Cardboard Camera be "Xmas Bonus" 2012 ?

I'm sure the employees are very excited by the prospect.


I want one!

Ormond Otvos

wOw love this image maker...itZ a KiSS item....!!!

Eddy Vergara

This «knäppa» (i e, click) camera is really «knäpp» (i e, crazy)....



10yrs from now its going to be worth a lot.

Karsten Evans

While some of those with negative comments here continue to yell at kids, "get off of my lawn!", the Hacking/Making community would embrace these low cost cameras with open arms. Especially once they figure out how to attach them to their projects. I am totally in agreement with IKEA on this publicity/marketing move. I hope they give thousands of them away.

Gene Jordan

Ha ha what a funny little gadget - mission accomplished Ikea! And just to reinforce some of the comments here - the negativity of some is just plain hilarious :-) Honestly, gizmag is not youtube where you can always find a flame war in the comments under a perfectly innocuous video... lighten up peeps!

John Hogan
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