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Making It

The Real-Life Instagram Camera Is So Crazy That It Just Might Work

Who woulda thunk Instagram’s icon was hiding so many features all along?

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WARNING: The following idea is extremely silly. But it’s one of those ideas that, while a bit obnoxious at first glance, has the potential to make you smile once, maybe even giggle. Before you know it, that idea is taking you out to drinks, calling for a second date, late night sexting you, and meeting your mother. While you’re not ready for marriage—heavens no—maybe you’d move in, and a tattoo of the idea is just as forever as diamonds, right?

The Socialmatic, by Antonio De Rosa—"Antonio De Rosa, born in Cava de’ Tirreni (SA), Italy, on December 22, 1975," he tells me—is an Instagram camera concept that, if you aren’t careful, will do everything in the above disclaimer (plus make babies with you). Its core idea is absurd—we’re talking about a dedicated camera for a service that made dedicated cameras obsolete, and a product with ergonomics based upon the human factors of an iOS icon—but what the Socialmatic lacks in sensibility is more than made up for in Urban Outfitters semi-ironic stocking stuffer chic.

Featuring an interchangeable lens and onboard printer, touch screen, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a steel-banded, 2-D build, the Socialmatic feels like the gaudy, all-too-obvious cross between a Polaroid and an iPhone 4—and when you think about it, isn’t that pretty much exactly what Instagram set out to be?

As of now, the Socialmatic is only a concept. De Rosa writes us that "It needs a huge investment … it’s not a simply a product. Maybe Mr. Zuckenberg is reading something about it just now … :)" Then you realize, the "n" and the "r" are nowhere near one another on the keyboard, and the Socialmatic’s naive charm bores a little deeper into your consciousness.

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