Instagram is enjoying a wealth of success right now, particularly after being picked up by Facebook last month for a cool US$1 billion. The photo-sharing network's social apps have become some of the most popular in the world, and one design studio in Italy is wondering what it would look like if the company decided to make its own hardware as well. ADR Studio has put together a fairly detailed concept for just such a device, called the "Instagram Socialmatic," which merges online photo-sharing with instant Polaroid-like prints for sharing in the offline world.
At a glance, the concept's look is modeled almost entirely after the familiar Instagram app icon, as if it were plucked right from an iPhone's screen and enlarged. Like most digital cameras, the concept sports a touchscreen, LED flash, and optical zoom, plus 16 GB of media storage. It also has two lenses: one for capturing images, and one for applying 3D filters, scanning QR codes, and using webcam applications. Since it's a camera built around Instagram, the concept has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity along with integrated Facebook and Instagram apps for uploading photos.
The Instagram Socialmatic's most interesting features however are located within its stylish exterior. An internal printer loaded with refillable paper sheets and a four-color ink cartridge produces physical copies of any photo. Each image prints with a bar at the top listing the username of the person who took it and a QR code that anyone can scan to start following that user's profile. To mimic the social networking aspects of Instagram in real life, the paper leaves a space for writing in captions/comments at the bottom and has an adhesive strip on the back to stick it anywhere. The photos are also printed fully formed, so there's no need to wait for images to develop like with a Polaroid.
Sadly, unless Instagram and Facebook decide to wildly change their business model, this camera will likely remain just an idea. As a concept for taking photo sharing networks offline though, the Instagram Socialmatic is fairly compelling, even if it does encourage people to basically litter to show off their pictures.
Source: ADR Studio