Met with friend and Product Manager of Instacube (think table top digital photo frame streaming Instagram… and way more: facebook, hashtags, lots of potentials) at a demo party.
Two Colors: White & Black (resembles an abstract image of the app’s well-known icon with colorful stripes)
System/General Spec: Android, micro USB charge, light weight on hands
Design: three buttons on top (Circle, Grid, Heart)
The heart is particularly cute, upon pressing, will super impose a temporary big red heart on the picture and “Like” the picture. The heart goes away, the Like stays for your Social Network to see.
– Live streaming Instagram account, hashtags (we tested photos on spot with #instacube and it was instantaneous!)
– Touch screen, pinch to view a grid of photos, tap to focus on one, more tapping/swipe on the photo reveals detailed information about the photo, account info, and caption
Overall the product seems quite ready. This is particularly surprising to me because Instacube is relatively new and has had a short development period so far – consider it almost freshly pressed and off the shelf on Kickstarter. It says a lot about the D2M team. PM is dreaming big for the future because the cube can do so much more than just Instagram, the system is build to expand and will be able to integrate with many partners. In fact Instacube already landed quite a few, e.g. Stratus. There are great potentials. Diligent engineers are thinking more than just hardware, it is about the software and Social Network. D2M cares all about design, but as a stellar design firm it will now also champion the entire life cycle of the product and take it to market. How it unravels is yet to be told.
The object is relatively thick, but it is light weight and does not feel burdensome. In fact, it has comfortable steadiness, makes party guests at peace when toying with it. I wasn’t afraid that it would be fragile.
-Screen is slightly faint (can’t compare to iPhone retina, but it looked great on marble kitchen top in a house party).
-Android system is versatile but Instagram is also the poster child of iOS for a long while, will be interesting to see how Instacube will wrangle with aesthetics vs practicality vs functionality.
-Instacube is a child of technology and social media, but its root Instagram is also a child of art and creative minds, will be interesting to see how the two worlds meet.
Stanford trivia: did you know that Instagram founder got his idea about the app from Stanford in Florence? And now Instacube also has some cardinal splash.