You might view the Casio brand as one closely affiliated with modern electronics, but their very first product might surprise you. When the company was established in Tokyo, Japan, in 1946, its first product was the yubiwa pipe. This was not a high tech gadget but was instead a decorative and hands-free ring worn by smokers hoping to get all they could from each of their costly cigarettes. Because tobacco products were so expensive in post-war Japan, this small and innovative product was a huge financial hit.
Building on the success of this unique product, however, the company turned its focus towards technology. After spotting a large and cumbersome calculating machine at a business show in Japan in 1949, the company founder, Tadao Kashio, decided to design his own.
Working alongside his brothers, they put in several years of research and experimentation in order to create the world's first electronic calculator in 1954. Further refinements led to the development of their Model-14-A, which was the first entirely electric, compact calculator to hit the global market in 1957.
The brothers chose the name Casio Computer Company Ltd. for their new enterprise, and began marketing their calculator under that brand.
Forward in Time
Since that first innovation in 1957, Casio has continued to branch out into other areas of electronics. As early as 1971 they were able to make the first ink jet printer. They created the first electronic wristwatch in 1974. Casio designed the first electronic musical instrument in 1980, the first electronic dictionary in 1981, the first pocket-sized LCD TV in 1983, the first digital camera with an LCD display, and the list of achievements just goes on and on. And of course, Casio generated many "firsts" in calculators, including personal calculators, compound calculators, solar calculators, and pocket units.
They still innovate, but their emphasis remains more focused and directed towards calculators, watches, and digital technology. Additionally, there is always a strong component of refinement and focus in many of their product lines, both now as well as in the past.
For example, the company was the first to create calculators that could fit into the pocket, record activities in a memory bank, and perform scientific calculations. Clearly, they develop technologies and then seek out ways to further refine and enhance them for their specific groups of users.
This is directly in line with the company's overarching philosophy to create only "products with innovative functions [that] assist people in their daily lives and keep society moving forward...bring joy to people and help to create new culture...[and] society-innovative products enhancing people's lives." (Casio, 2014)
To accomplish this, the company has established a global network with a presence in Japan, Asia, the Americas, Europe, and the Middle East. It has almost 11k employees around the globe, and its major product lines are:
* Electronic Dictionaries
* Label Printers
* Electronic Musical Instruments
* Digital Cameras
* Handheld Terminals
* Cash Registers
* Office Computers
* Page Printers
* Data Projectors
Most consumers, however, know the Casio name specifically for its watches, calculators, cameras, and musical instruments.
The product line that most consumers associate the Casio name and quality with is the watch line. This includes such models as the famous G-Shock watches, the Oceanus line, the Casio Sport watches, the Edifice watch, the Classic Casio watches, and the Wave Ceptor.
Casio's watches are popular because of their dual functions and unique features. Some have LCD and analog displays, some are "atomic clock" linked models, some can withstand shock and depths, and some are equipped with special compasses and alarms.
The calculators stand shoulder to shoulder with the Casio watches in terms of reputation and popularity. Today, Casio is still known for its programming models, graphing calculators, LCD models, specialty models such as the V.P.A.M or VFD units, and their traditional or basic models.
Casio was the first to create an "ultra compact digital camera", which they labeled their Exilim Card line. Loaded with features, this series has expanded to include "bridge" cameras that border professional quality.
Clearly, Casio is all about innovation but also about useful innovations. A lot of tech oriented firms get caught up in the tech and forget about function. However, Casio began as an innovation firm and remains that way many decades later. It is still run by the Kashio family, as well, and follows a code of conduct and charter that proves its dedication to staff and consumers.
Casio.com. History. World.Casio.com. 2014. http://world.casio.com/corporate/history/