Music. Sweet music.
Casio has been a prominent manufacturer of electronic musical instruments for almost seventy-five years, in addition to its vast array of other electronic products. This company is known for its huge variety of products as well as the incredibly high quality that consumers have come to expect from Japanese electronics companies.
This multinational consumer electronics company has an annual revenue of more than three hundred and twenty-one billion yen, and an annual operating income of almost twenty-three million yen. It employees almost thirteen thousand individuals at its facilities worldwide.
Casio’s roots go back to Tadao Kashio, who established the company as Kashio Seisakujo in 1946. The first sizable product that the company manufactured was the yubiwa pipe, which was a ring that allowed the wearer to hold a cigarette while it burned all the way down to its nub in a hands-free way. The invention was actually incredibly successful as cigarettes were a valuable commodity after the war. That little bit of extra smoking time bought Kashio a door into business.
In 1949, Kashio and his brothers Kazuo and Yukio went to a business show in Tokyo and saw the first electronic calculators on display. This sparked a major change, and the brothers took their money from making yubiwa pipes and poured it into developing calculators. The original version had a crank motor.
At the time, cigarettes were not at all a controversial item. In today’s market, Casio’s original product would never have been profitable.
It took Kashio another five years to develop his first desktop electro-mechanical calculator, using the ten key number pad that would later become a standard for electronics.
By 1957, the company had changed its name to Casio, a less complex spin on the Kashio name. Casio Computers would go on to become a massive force in consumer electronics across the globe. That same year, the company rolled out the world’s first totally electric but compact computer. It was nothing short of a market revolution.
The company’s signature calculators would be a mainstay product for decades and on to today. When it branched out into the manufacture of watches, it even created a calculator watch. It’s still an innovator in usable watch technology today, with its Prayer watch that helps Muslims to pray on time each day and to face in the right direction.
Art for Money’s Sake
Casio branched out into a wide range of art related ventures. It was an early innovator in digital camera technology, going all the way back to the 1980s. The company would go on to mass market several different digital camera designs.
Music has been a major part of the Casio brand for forty years. The company’s keyboards are a huge business, starting with monophonic music machines and progressing all the way to digital grand pianos. In addition to keyboard instruments, Casio also made an electric guitar in the late 1980s.
In every type of electronic piece of equipment that Casio has produced, it’s put the same level of quality and ingenuity that goes back to founder Kashio, whose business leadership took the company from smokes to smoking hot products.