Sigh. IKEA Launching Cardboard Digital Camera
I love photography and am a fan of the random art that comes from toy cameras as much as the next person. But the line has to be drawn somewhere and I think it belongs between old favorites like Holgas and Dianas, and disposable crap pushed out by IKEA.
According to Gizmodo, "In the press kits they distributed last week at Milan's Salone design show, Ikea included a very Ikea product: a digital camera made of cardboard. The camera, which runs on two AA batteries and can hold up to 40 images on a built-in memory stick, can be synced with a computer via the USB that swings out from its side. It will soon be available for sale in Ikea stores—though, given Ikea's reputation for less than stellar merch, it might be wise to consider your options."
Great. A product that uses AA batteries (let's hope smart consumers actually use rechargeable batteries) and will probably break after about three uses. Because it's digital, I'm not sure that the images will even have the cool artsy feel of toy film cameras, or if they'll be simply really crappy digital photos. I guess if you were giving a toddler their very first camera to play with, knowing that they'll break it and want to keep their photo playtime cheap, then this might be an option. Maybe. But I have to agree with Lloyd who said, "IKEA disposable culture comes to cameras."
It also looks as though, while it is being called "disposable" (and it is), you can clear out the photos on the memory card. The front has a little hole with a trash can icon on one side and a paper clip icon on the other. I can only assume that means that if you stick the end of a paper clip in there to press the reset button, it'll erase the images on the memory card? So at least the cardboard camera can be used more than once (hopefully).
While it is a compelling item for gadget enthusiasts, it looks mostly like very breakable junk that you really, really want to keep away from water. It'd be better for you and the environment if you just stick with your good old cell phone for quick digital snap shots (which you should probably also keep away from water, for what it's worth).