USD $149.00 @ InstaCube
“Digital photo frame” displays have been around for a long time. You probably bought one for your parents in like 2005, and since then it’s probably been playing back the same thirty pictures you loaded onto it for them, collecting dust on a shelf.
The developers of the Instacube want to change that. Over at Kickstarter, a pledge of $99 to $149 will reserve your Instacube – a sleek, square display that integrates with Instagram to exhibit your photo stream live.
The Instacube (which thankfully isn’t actually a cube) will be 7.5″ square, housing a 6.5″ square LCD display. In addition to the touch-capacitive screen, the housing features tactile buttons for controlling power and switching feeds, along with a heart shaped “Like” button. It comes with 4GB of internal storage, but it syncs with Instagram over WiFi, so it seems unlikely you’d ever fill it.
The Instacube’s single-purpose interface (Insta-face?) is built on Android. It runs on a rechargeable lithium ion battery (the developers told IGN they’re planning to include a USB port for charging), so you can take your friends’ breakfast pics wherever you go.
The only thing we weren’t blown away by is the display’s resolution: 600×600 isn’t terrible – in fact, it’s competitive with similarly priced devices, and Instagram pictures currently max out at 612×612 pixels anyway – but it isn’t future-proof either. Plus, Instagram’s normalized aspect ratio will banish the ugly-black-bar effect of squeezing vertical photos into a horizontal display.
It’s worth noting that the device will require access to Instagram’s API. While that’s not necessarily cause for alarm, if Instagram’s Facebook overlords were to revoke API access for some reason, the device would become an expensive paperweight just like that.
As of writing, the Instacube is about a third of the way to its $250,000 funding goal on its first day.