Instagram has all the convenience of digital, social photography, but it compensates for what could be a cold utilitarian feature set with the simplest of interventions: nostalgic photo filters. Instagram doesn’t just share photos, it creates memories. Call that sentiment cheesy or the technique tacky, but it’s certainly proven successful so far.
Projecteo, a Kickstarter campaign by Mint Digital (makers of Olly and Foldable.me), takes the Instagram nostalgia one step further. It’s a miniature, LED-powered slide projector that displays photos from your Instagram account onto a wall in a 2.5-foot spread. The idea is to soak in pictures with friends and families, just like the old days.
“It still seems magical and mysterious to me. Chemicals reacting in vats of liquid to make incredibly rich, beautiful, and unique images still fills me with a sense of awe,” creator Ben Redford tells Co.Design. “It also reminds me of being a kid. My Mum and Dad used to have loads of slides and I used to love the excitement of going through them.”
Projecteo’s slides are the traditional, 35mm size, but they’ve been redesigned to fit nine smaller photos in a revolver-style arrangement (kind of like a miniature View-Master). It’s an interesting hack of the printing process itself. While Projecteo’s segmented slides won’t have nearly the fidelity of their older counterparts, their clever approach to 35mm printing does allow them to leverage existing analog infrastructure to create a new film product.
“35mm film used to be the dominant means of developing and sharing photos and slides. The quality and richness of slide film is second to none,” Redford explains. “Now, most of that behavior happens in a digital format. However, that doesn’t mean the infrastructure or incredible quality of analogue development has disappeared, it just hasn’t been 'connected’ yet.”
So the second half of Projecteo will be a streamlined printing service in the cloud. Users can submit their Instagram shots to order these new slide wheels, which is no doubt a big part of Projecteo’s monetization scheme. Because the Projecteo itself with one slide will run just $25 to Kickstarter pre-orderers, and the early birds will actually land it $10 cheaper.