Italian designer, Antonio De Rosa describes himself simply as a fan and a dreamer. His design concepts of tech gadgets like the iPhone 5 have received worldwide praise online. When we found out about the real life Instagram camera called the Instagram Socialmatic Camera, we discovered that this was the latest project of Antonio De Rosa. Watch this quick video below explaining how his design concept combines the social features of Instagram with a fully-functioning camera modeled after the social network’s icon, then read the the interview with Antonio De Rosa to find out where his ideas originate from.
How would you describe yourself as a creator? I like to define myself as a “simple fan”. I started when I was 17 working as a graphic designer for video games on the Commodore Amiga. After finishing my studies and obtaining a specialization in Creative Area in a Masters in Communication and Marketing, I began my work as a consultant. I always try to imagine new and revolutionary products, what I really like to have in my hands.
How did you get your start as a designer? As a good Italian I’ve always been attracted by the beauty. While I was a simple graphic designer I started to hear a voice inside telling me to try to be a real designer. I started to study, build, break and improve. Now the concept of design is very large: you start from real objects to land on the study of interfaces, from simple logos to illustrations.
How did you come up with the concept for your Socialmatic camera? I dreamed After seeing the icon of Instagram I asked myself: why not make a real camera? I started working on it, this time with a different mood, wanting to really make the product.
What separates the camera from others? Socialmatic will be the first camera that takes dynamics of social photography into the real world. You can take photos, apply filters on them and then share them directly from your Socialmatic. But you can also print photos, use them as a post-it and “comment” them with a pen. And if you want to follow the author, just point your Socialmatic on the QR-Code, and that’s it …
Why do you think Instagram has become such a popular social media platform? The obvious answer might be that Instagram has made us all more photographers. I believe instead that it has exploited our innate need to communicate through images, our need to capture a snapshot of all our feelings and moods, ranging from happiness to sadness, from fear to exhibitionism. Apply filters to the photos, make them more “professional” and to show what we ourselves are — this is merely food for the ego. Like all social networks, however, it needs to jump into the real world. Try to think about how the physical Facebook “like” button is coming into the shops. Or the TV shows that have LED-walls that show physically our tweets. It ‘s time to show our photos, in real life.
Who’s your favorite photographer on Instagram? I do not have a favorite photographer on Instagram. I follow my followers on the basis of their photos and their emotions …
How close are you to making your camera design a reality? The Indiegogo campaign needs to have the first $50,000 that will allow us to have a great partner for the production. There is the idea, the vision, the market. Some producers are coming forward and the hype that we have generated is bearing results. It could really be the first camera WANTED by internet users. We hope that Facebook / Instagram contact us directly
What are some new tech or social media products that you think are well designed? Sure, all Apple products. It is not just a matter of ergonomics or aesthetics. Apple products are great in all details, down to the simple screws. In these products are important materials and assembly solutions. Apple has certainly set a new standard of quality. About social media, I believe that the influences of Twitter and Facebook within the minimalism of the interfaces have been right. But now the user needs to have more and more functions, so this became a real challenge for designers: this is where you have to be creative.
What is a device or technique that you find essential to your line of work? It may seem strange, but the device that I find essential is … the dream. Almost all the products I had imagined and designed are created because I have dreamed them… I know it sounds strange, but it’s true. The next morning I turn on my Mac and I have a blank screen on which I create the first drafts, until I achieve what I literally dreamed.
What has been the most challenging project you have worked on in your career? Why? Each project is a particular challenge. Unfortunately none of the revolutionary products that I designed (iWatch, iCam, iBox, iPhone SJ) has seen the light. Of course, I worked for several companies in Southeast Asia to design smartphones and tablets, but they were trivial copies. And it is sad to see some of your own projects, which have been so successful on the internet, be copied and made by those who have more economic opportunities and power.
To find out more about the Instagram Socialmatic Camera visit Antonio De Rosa’s website. Follow Antonio De Rosa on Twitter for future updates on his work. Special thanks to Ilan Mester for speaking with De Rosa for Thrash Lab.