History 1980-

1980's

1980

Jan.

Release of the Casiotone 201 electronic keyboard

January 1980: Release of the Casiotone 201 electronic keyboard

In 1979, Casio announced that it would enter the electronic musical instruments business, further expanding beyond calculators and timepieces. In January 1980, the company released the Casiotone electronic keyboard, which was designed to be so easy and fun to play that anyone could learn it without any special training or rigorous practice. The objective of the Casiotone was not to create a keyboard with the typical electronic sound, but rather with tones that reproduced the sounds of the piano, organ, and guitar. The economic growth at that time in Japan had created a cultural mood characterized by a shift away from material toward spiritual pursuits, and the Casiotone was instantly accepted by the market as a fun new way to enjoy music.

Casiotone 201

1981

Jan.

Automated calculator production line goes into operation at the Kofu plant

Sep.

Release of solar-powered calculator (SL-801)

Oct.

Release of first electronic dictionary (TR-2000)

October 1981: Release of first electronic dictionary (TR-2000)

Using the digital and miniaturization technology developed for calculators, Casio continued to develop new types of products. In October 1981, the company developed a large-capacity memory device, and released the TR-2000 electronic English-Japanese dictionary, which contained 2,020 English words and phrases in a notebook-sized unit, just 8 millimeters thick and weighing 53 grams. After that, Casio increased the memory capacity through semiconductor technology development, and produced new electronic dictionaries that also allowed the user to choose between a Japanese-language, kanji-character dictionary and other dictionaries with the touch of a button.

TR-2000
Nov.

First Casio World Open Golf Tournament held

November 1981: First Casio World Open Golf Tournament held

With the 25th anniversary of the founding of the company, the Casio World Open Golf Tournament was introduced. By hosting an international event for professional and amateur players from Japan and abroad, the company hoped to promote the Casio brand image as well as to express its ongoing appreciation of its customers. In order to enable the participation of many famous players, the international tournament was held in the off-season month of November. With a mild climate providing the ideal conditions, Ibusuki, Kagoshima, on Japan’ s southern island of Kyushu, was selected as the venue, and the annual tournament is still held there today.
As an important match at the end of the Japanese men’ s golf tour, the Casio tournament always produces some heated competition. The Ibusuki Golf Club Kaimon Course, which serves as the stage for the intense competition, is located at the base of Mt. Kaimon, and is known for its challenging mixture of down-slopes and onshore breezes. Due to this high degree of difficulty, the course has provided a great deal of competition drama, and is one of the most eagerly anticipated golf tournaments.

1982

Jun.

Casio Science Promotion Foundation established

June 1982: Casio Science Promotion Foundation established

As someone who had experienced difficulties in securing capital during the early development of the relay calculator, Tadao Kashio, then-President of Casio, was motivated to establish the Casio Science Promotion Foundation, with the goal of assisting in the promotion of scientific research in Japan. Every year since its inception, the Foundation has continued to provide assistance for early-stage pioneering and original research in the interdisciplinary research fields of (1) natural science (especially electrical and mechanical engineering), (2) the humanities, (3) electronic engineering and medicine with the objective of maintaining health and extending life, and (4) physiology. Support is provided based on the recommendations and cooperation of university research institutions.

Casio Science Promotion Foundation established
Nov.

Release of analog watch (combination type) (AQ-500)

1983

Apr.

Release of the G-SHOCK DW 5000C, the first shock resistant watch

April 1983: Release of the G-SHOCK DW 5000C, the first shock resistant watch

In 1983, Casio released a new watch that overturned the thinking of the watch and clock industry. Amidst the trend towards thinner lighter watches, the novel rugged design of the G-SHOCK was based on the unique concept of a watch that could be dropped from the top of a building and still not break. When it was first introduced, the G-SHOCK was only popular in certain markets, such as the US, due to its unique appearance. However ten years later, fashion trends had changed, and after consumers took a fresh look at its functions and design, it became an instant hit worldwide. G-SHOCK established the new category of the shock resistant watch, and has become Casioês signature watch.

The first G-SHOCK (DW-5000C)

Release of electronic keyboard with ROM pack (PT-50)

May

Release of first Digital Diary (PF-3000)

May 1983: Release of first Digital Diary (PF-3000)

After its invention, the electronic calculator continued to evolve, thanks to advancements in hardware technology. Through the progression of CPU innovations from transistors, to ICs, to LSI, and through advancements in display technology from nixie tubes, to fluorescent character display tubes, to liquid crystal, the calculator became ever smaller and compact. Once the technology had nearly reached its ultimate potential, a new advancement in calculator technology was made through the utilization of software employing semiconductor memory. The prime example of this is the digital diary.
In 1983, Casioês first digital diary, the PF-3000, was released. This digital diary, with its new built-in telephone book, schedule, and memo functions, was soon in demand among business people. Later models allowed the use of Japanese kanji characters; extra functions could be added with an IC card, and the devices could even be synchronized with a PC. It was the pioneering technology for today’s PDA.

PF-3000
Jun.

Release of the TV-10, a pocket-sized LCD TV

June 1983: Release of the TV-10, a pocket-sized LCD TV

In June 1983, Casio released the world’s smallest television. It was the TV-10, with its 2.7-inch black and white liquid crystal display. Research and development into LCD technology had been going on since 1974. The technology had been used for watches and calculators, but now it had progressed to the point where moving images could be displayed. In 1985, a color panel was developed, and the TV-1000 was released as a color LCD TV. After that, liquid crystal technology progressed from TN to STN and TFT, and now it is used for many kinds of products as a next-generation display replacing cathode-ray tubes.

TV-10 TV-1000
Nov.

Release of the Film Card SL-800, credit-card size calculator

November 1983: Release of the Film Card SL-800, credit-card size calculator

Ever since Casio introduced personal sized products with the Casio Mini, the company has quickly followed up with ever-smaller versions, from “handy,” to “pocket,” to “card” sizes, making electronic calculators smaller, thinner, and lighter. Then in November 1983, Casio released its credit card sized calculator (85mm x 54mm x 0.8mm, 12g), finally realizing the ultimate in a thin, lightweight, compact product. Remarkably, the SL-800 Film Card calculator was a mere 0.07% the weight, and 0.008% the volume, of Casio°s first electronic calculator, the 001. These figures alone reveal how much technical innovation had taken place between the ages of the two products. The electronic film technology used to create the SL-800 contributed to the increased miniaturization and advancement of Casio products, while also forming a base to establish one of the world’ s most cutting-edge electronic device businesses.

SL-800

1984

Jan.

Release of databank telephone number storage wristwatch

January 1984: Release of databank telephone number storage wristwatch

After entering the business of timepieces in 1974, Casio released watches with various advanced features, including a calculator function (C-80 released in 1980), and a dictionary function (T-1500 Walking Dictionary released in 1982). The company wanted to see the wristwatch evolve from a simple device for telling time to an information device on the wrist.

As part of this progress, the Databank Telememo 10 (CD-40) released in 1984 had a databank function that could save and recall 10 groups of 16 letters or numerals, thereby eliminating the need to carry a personal phone-number organizer. This watch further advanced the concept of an information device on the wrist, and became a major hit product, selling a record total of six million units in the five years after its release. After that, Casio put out a whole series of databank watches, featuring Japanese kana display, timetable, autodial, and other functions.

CD-40
Jul.

Establishment of Casio Electronic Manufacturing Co., Ltd.

Aug.

Release of databank watch that can recognize handwritten words (DB-1000)

Oct.

Release of MSX-standard home PC (PV-7)

Nov.

Release of digital synthesizer with phase distortion (PD) sound source (CZ-101)

1985

Mar.

Release of super-thin digital watch (PELA)

March 1985: Release of super-thin digital watch (PELA)

Based on the novel idea of making the watch and plastic wristband all one piece, the PELA FS-10 was realized through the development of revolutionary new hybrid molding technology applying plastic molding and microelectronics expertise. Only 3.9 millimeters thick and 12 grams, the super-thin lightweight PELA won immediate popularity, and became the watch industry’s first million-selling model.

PELA
Apr.

Factory automation (FA) plant for calculators constructed at the Kofu Product Control and Technical Center

April 1985: Factory automation (FA) plant for calculators constructed at the Kofu Product Control and Technical Center

With the goal of reducing the cost and increasing the quality of calculator production, Casio introduced a fully automated production line in the Kofu Product Control and Technical Center in January 1981. Based on the results achieved from this line, the company then built a full-scale calculator FA plant operated by computer management in the same facility, in April 1985. All processes at this state-of-the-art factory were completely automated, from parts supply to assembly, inspection, and packaging, and the plant could operate 24 hours a day without any workers. The general-purpose automated line, with a monthly production capacity of 1.5 million units, was acclaimed as an FA plant unlike any other in the world.

April 1985: Factory automation (FA) plant for calculators completed at the Kofu Product Control and Technical Center

Release of first liquid-crystal shutter printer (LCS-2400)

May.

Release of pocket-size LCD TV (TV-1000)

Jul.

Release of personal Japanese word processor (HW-100)

Aug.

Office opened in Beijing, China

1986

Feb.

Release of new calculator with text processing capability (Data-Cal)

Mar.

Release of the Sampletone, an electronic musical instrument with a sampling function

March 1986: Release of the Sampletone, an electronic musical instrument with a sampling function

In March 1986, Casio released the Sampletone (SK-1), a radical new electronic musical instrument with a built in sampling function. Until this time, the type of tone that could be produced by both acoustic and electronic instruments was limited. However, by equipping an electronic keyboard with a sampling feature that could record any kind of sound from the environment, and then use it as a sound source for playing music, musical expression suddenly took on limitless possibilities. This invention opened a new chapter in the history of musical instruments. The SK-1 became a major hit product, selling over one million units, a rare achievement for a musical instrument.

Sampletone SK-1
May

Release of 32-bit super office computer with UNIX (SX1000 series)

1987

Jan.

Casio Computer (Hong Kong) Ltd. established

Jul.

Casio Micronics Co., Ltd., established in Ome City, Tokyo

July 1987: Casio Micronics Co., Ltd., established in Ome City, Tokyo

After the first major appreciation of the yen (which soared from ¥260 to ¥120 to the US dollar) in 1987, Japanese calculator manufacturers found themselves at a crossroads. There were two options available: move production bases overseas, or develop devices that would enable major cost reductions and keep producing in Japan. Due to its success in reducing calculator assembly costs with completely automated lines at the Kofu Product Control and Technical Center, Casio decided to keep its production in Japan. In order to further increase its competitiveness, the company also opted to do the after-processing of semiconductors itself, as this was the costliest component of calculator devices.
Semiconductor after-processing involves the finishing of semiconductor parts for various product applications. In order to realize miniaturization, increased functionality, and cost reduction for Casioês main product, calculators, the company set up Casio Micronics Co., Ltd., in Ome City, Tokyo, in July 1987, to carry out this after-processing.

Casio Micronics

Digital Diary, a combination notebook, dictonary and calculator that is able to display Kanji characters (DK-1000), released

Aug.

Handy print-anywhere word-processor (HW-7) released

Release of electronic guitar with a full selection of tones (DG-10/20, MG-500/510)

Sep.

Release of portable VCR with LCD TV (VF-3000)

Release of portable DAT (DA-1)

Oct.

Establishment of Casio Korea Co., Ltd.

Start of pager deliveries to new common carriers (NCCs)

October 1987: Start of pager deliveries to new common carriers (NCCs)

Pagers are small, portable LCD terminals employed in mobile communication systems to enable users to receive data transmissions while on the go. In Japan, the predecessor of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) began offering pager service in the Tokyo area in 1968. In 1987, Casio began supplying products to NCCs based on technology it had developed for its watches. Then, along with the introduction of a terminal purchase system in March 1995, pagers quickly gained popularity, and prices started to come down. There was also a rapid improvement in functionality, including the display of text messages by converting numerical codes, and the receiving of email via the Internet. With this, the popularity of pagers spread from business people, to students, to the general population. However, with the reduction in PHS and cellular phones prices and a corresponding rise in their use, demand for pagers began to weaken. Nevertheless, the technology created in the course of pager development was adopted in the production of PHS and cellular phones.

Multifunction pager, NICOTO
Nov.

VS-101 electronic still camera released

November 1987: VS-101 electronic still camera released

The electronic still camera was a device that could take still images and store them on a floppy disk. It allowed users to connect the camera to a TV and easily view the pictures. Unlike digital cameras today, this camera stored the photos in an analog rather than digital format. For this reason, it was not possible to directly download the pictures to a PC, and download was only possible through the use of special capture boards or hardware. Unfortunately, since video cameras that enabled the recording of moving images and sound were already becoming popular at that time, and coupled with the fact that this camera could only take still images with quality inferior to that of regular photographs, there was not a great demand for the electronic camera and it did not remain on the market long. However, the technology in this product continued to evolve, eventually leading to the creation of the QV-10 digital camera.

VS-101

1988

feb.

Release of handy copier for making copies anywhere (CP-100)

Release of guitar with built-in synthesizer sound (PG-380)

Apr.

Release of the Digital Horn (DH-100), a wind instrument that is easy to play

Dec.

Kazuo Kashio becomes company President

1989

feb.

BM-100WJ digital watch with weather prediction sensors released

February 1989: BM-100WJ digital watch with weather prediction sensors released

Generally speaking, when the atmospheric air pressure increases the weather improves, and when it decreases the weather deteriorates. The BM-100WJ was a digital watch with a weather-prediction function based on this principle. The watch had an internal semiconductor barometer sensor that measured the air pressure every three hours, and showed the data on a bar graph display. When the bar on the right hand side went up, it meant the weather would improve, and when it went down, the weather would get worse. This air pressure data could also be used to tell the wearer his or her approximate altitude or underwater depth. These revolutionary new functions made the BM-100WJ a major hit product. Casio went on to create a whole line of sensor watches with various functions,

BM-100WJ
Apr.

ADPS R1 office information processing device requiring no user program released

April 1989: ADPS R1 office information processing device requiring no user program released

The ADPS was a device that could process business information without any user program. It was based on the –office data theory” developed by Toshio Kashio, Chairman and Representative Director, through many years of analyzing and investigating all the companyês business activities. The ADPS R1 was a revolutionary new system for processing office data without the use of a user program, and attracted a lot of attention.

ADPS R1
Aug.

Release of Kanji Digital Diary with IC card support (DK-5000)