With Facebook IPO Underway, One Man Pitches a Polaroid-Style Instagram Camera


posted Friday, May 18, 2012 at 12:43 PM EST

Instagram-camera-logoThey say the easiest way to get rich is to hang around billionaires because they leak money. Antonio De Rosa is an Italian designer who is clearly looking to find one of those leaky rich guys to stand as close to as possible. De Rosa of ADR Studio has developed a prototype Polaroid-style Instagram camera, or at least a mock-up of one. He introduced his Instagram camera concept to the world on May 5th and the response has been underwhelming, to say the least.

But De Rosa has his dream and is working hard on making it a reality. Well, sort of.

De Rosa posted his Instagram Socialmatic Camera project on the fundraising site Indiegogo in an attempt to raise funds. To date he has raised about $3,200, a tiny fraction of the $50,000 he is hoping for to help him find a partner to "finalize the project."

To shake money out of potential donors’ pocket, De Rosa is offering contributors what he calls a "massive discount" on the concept camera’s eventual retail price of about $350. As you probably recall, the Instagram app was recently bought by Facebook for something like a billion dollars. De Rosa believes that with his real life Instagram cameram he could ride the wave of "Insta-mania" right into a fancy Milanese villa. He might even get a chance to party with ex-cruise ship singer Silvio Berlusconi.

Not surprisingly, while the Socialmatic camera looks exactly like the Instagram icon, it is supposed to be a real digital camera fitted with two lenses and editing software. It will also have built-in Wi-Fi, allowing erstwhile paparazzi the opportunity to post Socialmatic Instagram photos to Facebook at the push of a button.

The big difference though between the Instagram camera and most every other camera will be its "built-in printer just like a Polaroid." This allows the Socialmatic photographer not only to post pictures to the web but to post them on refrigerators and lampposts around the neighborhood.

In response to questions from the Huffington Post about the Instagram Polaroid camera De Rosa explained, "I think [this] is the first time you can merge social network power, social photography and communication. It's a combination of various dynamics, starting from the post-it to land on photo sharing...I'll [sic] buy this because there are [sic] no camera on the market [that will] allow us to bring social network power in the real life."

Raising funds though has been difficult for De Rosa. Contributions have trickled in and comments at Indiegogo, while generally supportive, have been cautious. Many web observers noted that since the camera looks just like the Instagram app icon and since De Rosa has no license or permission to use it from either Facebook or Instagram, it could mean trouble down la strada. However, one commentator, putting a happy emoticon face on it all, said, "Facebook is probably cool enough not to sue you but will at some point probably terminate this project."

Yeah, standing next to billionaires you discover that not only do they leak money, but they leak lawyers too.

Mark Zuckerberg, who today is probably a bit distracted by his company's massive IPO, has yet to comment.

To see Antonio De Rosa's Instagram camera idea in action, check out the slick promo video below.